Saturday, December 18, 2010

my mom writes poetry

My Mother's Hands
(By my Mom, Patricia Steely)
Fingers long and thin,
Just a simple
Gold wedding band.
Nails tough, yet tenderly maintained:
These were my mother’s hands.

These were the hands
That rocked me with her strength,
Dressed me within her protective care,
Fed me from her sustenance,
 And kneaded my imagination.

Her hands soothed and scolded,
Guided and provided,
Only to be pushed away
By my hands
And the assertion:
“I can do it by myself.”

When my hands held
My firstborn child,
I could better understand,
How the hands that hold,
Can find it hard to let go.

In time, her wrinkled hands
 Pushed mine away.
I’d reach for her arm and elbow,
As she walked unsteadily,
Only to meet her resistance:
“I can do it by myself.”

Eventually, we both grasped
The firm comfort of our hands
In rhythm together:
My right hand in her left,
As my left hand supported her left elbow:
And in stride we would walk.

Until swollen and plump,
With mounds of skin swallowing
Her wedding band,
Wired and taped,
Steroided and sedated,
With tender blue, purple bruises-
Her hands lay quiet to the beat of the Ventilator.

So, her hands I held,
And I let her go.
And as she breathed
Her very last breath,
Her spirit took flight
At her physical death.

Yes, I fully understand
How the hands that hold
Can find it so terribly hard
 to let go.

-Patricia T. Steely
Written:  May 12, 2005
Revised:  May30, 2005
Read at Mom’s funeral

Originally posted at spirit songs