My Grandmother’s Hands by Cheryl Arvidson-Keating

Thank you, Cheryl, for letting us use this lovely poem.
Grandmothers-Hands-1024x731I have my grandmother’s hands.
Long fingers and a wedding ring
the curve of the knuckle near the neat nail.
Age spots on the backs,
Thin skin and callouses
tell the story of a life.

I have my grandmother’s hands.
I bind a cut on my daughter’s finger
in the same way my grandmother remembered
her grandmother binding hers
as she bound mine.

My grandmother’s hands tell so many tales.
Two World Wars, a marriage, a child;
Hard times, better times.
hands to the wheel, hands to the pumps
hands soothing a sick child
hands that discipline
hands that reward.

An image in my mind of hands pouring tea, buttering bread
Laying the table with the plates with pheasants on them
Darning a sock and threading a needle.
Holding mine as we walk to the station to watch the trains,
warm in the winter sun
Holding mine as I sit beside her bed,
cool with approaching death

Long fingers and a wedding ring
the curve of the knuckle near the neat nail.
Working hands, loving hands
That pass these memories down the generations.
My daughter has my grandmother’s hands.
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2 thoughts on “My Grandmother’s Hands by Cheryl Arvidson-Keating

  1. My mum has long, slender hands. when I was small, if I was sick, she’d rest her hand on my forehead and it was so cool and soothing. This poem evokes that. Lovely subject matter and imagery.

    The last verse doesn’t work for me. Especially the last line. It’s too sudden and doesn’t have the same meter as the original line. Also, you spell out that it’s passed along generations, but you don’t need to. The poem says it. Perhaps you could use this line to introduce your daughter and the last line could be “she has my grandmother’s hands” . Then the rhythm would fit again.

    I really like it though.

    Like

  2. Cheryl – “Grandmother’s hands” stirs deep emotions of worlds remembered – and forgotten across generations. A fine piece of work. Chip

    Like

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