Wednesday, 16 February 2011

These Hands

In these shrivelled bony hands, young man,
lie the years of my life
their pulses, their warmth
of times past, many years ago

these hands used to be agile
firm handshakes, steady grip, cosy cuddle
but now limp with age
cold. shaky. lifeless

these hands, young man
once flowed with warm blood
alert nerves
nimble fingers

don't be deceived by colour, dear young man
these hands once had the whitest fingernails
now torn, weatherbeaten
(who said age ain't nothing but a number?)

these hands could clap too, dear young man
these very hands
these hands could lift metals and sacks
when these hands were hands

young man, I envy you,
nay, I envy your hands
I can feel their pulses, blood flowing
fingers coursing, you can even pull a fist!

so why then are your hands without emotion?
why the metallic handshakes?
why the undecided clasp?

tell me, dear young man,
why are your hands frail in their youth?
where is life in those hands?
whence went pride in beautiful hands?

O tell me, my young son,
how those hands will be in old age
if they can't lift metals and sacks now.

C) Lorot Salem 2011


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