Mom's hands:

cracked, calloused, 

earth embedded under bitten nails.

Raw, rough


still somehow soft...

stroked my arm, twice.


Mom's hands didn't understand

why I liked dolls more than dirt

why I'd rather wear a skirt

why I cried when it rained

because the clouds took smiles away.


Mom's hands:

kneading bread, making my bed

chasing after noise

from wails when I stubbed my toes.

Clumsily placing bandages,

kissing it better.


Mom's hands didn't know

why I wouldn't cling when we crossed roads,

why I was ashamed to have my hair braided, nails painted,

why I never had friends over

after school.


Mom's hands 

were love, were friendship, were above all else

attached to the arms that hugged me so much...

yet I remain embarrassed, mortified,

because my mother's hands

belong to a man.

The End

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