by Lawrence J. J. Leonard
I see these once tanned hands.
Lots of wrinkly skin around the knuckles.
This means — must have been ready to bend into a new shape at the clinch of a fist.
The skin now translucent in places,
exposed to life more than a mind can dream.
Notice a bouquet of arterioles and veins?
Blood tunnels are exposed at the surface!
Vulnerable to the slightest cut,
and easily immersed in the hottest water,
even exposed to the direst of chemicals.
There is a gold band on the left hand.
It rests on a microtuft of dark hair
which signifies that
these hands of time
cling to youthful memories.
a symbol of strength and commitment of purpose does shine
without regard to the happiness of the soul
or the sadness of the spirit,
or vice versa.
Experience on vivid display.
Nails are clean and pink,
but not as shiny as they once were.
When the sheer volume of blood was
diminished during the prevailing rush
to share its life-giving properties to strangers,
because it was “the right thing to do,”
they practically glowed.
Now they appear to be sleepy guardians of circulatory vigilance.
Only the deepest scars can be seen; the effects of dehydration and heat
emerge from hapless attempts to replenish water.
I can see them, though.
Roughed up from chemical surfactants and lyes and alcohols,
combating the supergerms that permeate public modes of commerce.
These hands have touched too much!
Death, tears, backs for hugging, hair while caressing, teddy bears,
peanut butter sandwiches, oils and creams, anger, solid weights,
confusion, rage, jiggly belly laughs, underarms,
sore feet, sad shoulders, playfulness, and hopeful prayer.
The palms tell a story.
So also the fingers –
though wrinkled from lack of moisture.
The gold band and its eternal shape somehow glow brighter
when shown by day.
There is no other path to the future than what is written on the palms.
Life and heart lines,
love and fate lines,
all are intertwined to give a unique print.
See the long furrows with breaks?
Crossing the intersections that were not there 40 years ago.
There are larger and deeper canals
with steadfastness and similitude.
The heart line has twisted ropes of passion,
and the fate line is wrested with greatness.
It is no honor to have these hands –
their purpose to herald virtues
and sole function to fight, love, protect, point,
squeeze and crack, slip and caress,
pound with finesse,
divine and express
all that is and is to be . . .
Sill, love has inscribed honor here.
Copyright © 1960-2017 Lawrence J. J. Leonard All rights reserved.