The Hands That Feed You.

“Hard hands knead dough, everybody needs bread.”

Unknown

She has shouldered this burden for years. Life had taken liberty with the course she dreamt out, veering her along a path molded by necessity. Her mornings lead her deeper into a world where the hammer and anvil speak louder than prayer.

Once upon a time she had silken palms, soft hands that busied themselves in acts of freedom. She would spend time lending life to canvas. Her fingers, tipped with magic, painted heaven into blanks sheets. Those very hands have changed, becoming shadows of their former selves, hardened souls dedicating themselves to prying sustenance from the toils of labor. They have become strangers to the paint and brush, her pallet of inks seem weightless in this new world. Having carried more than their fair share her fingertips barley recognize the easel. These strangers are lost to the rhythm of cold work, mimicking the coarseness of a granite wheels that marks time at the old mill. Lost in a colorless world, her palms remain numb to a tenderness she once knew.

Her eyes have been hostage to the low lights for too long. Its been 6 years since she began working at the mill, 6 years since seeing her spirit fade as the earth opened up to swallow her light. It seems as though she has lost touch with the world around her, I have found it harder to pieces together a semblance of my mother in those vacant stares. She is often vanishing beyond the window pane ,prospecting for hope. Though I wonder where she goes, I know the familiar song her memory play, she revisits a time when love was still in reach, Father was gone too soon.

My fathers passing saddled my mother with darkness, to carry on mother had took to working at the mill. To see a whisper of her shine through the shadows of that  building speaks volumes of her heart, a love forever lit, regardless of the odds she carries one.

Ill never know what a life without that pain would have offered her, I only know this version of things. I’m ashamed to admit that I allowed years to creep by before I took notice of the hands that fed me, the way they bartered their tenderness for my sustenance, the way they pieced together strength, the way the carried me away from ever wilting on my feet. Despite the falling of her kingdom she found the grace to raise a King. Those hands knead the hope that feeds my spirit. She is deserving of the world in return.

 

 

Why I love Ellaine!!

wedding-photo-couple-holding-hands-jennifer-moher-photography-ontario-canada

 

 

The completion of Writing 201 was never to be the end of my poetic education. There will never be enough to learn, I wanted more. There is a wide range of tools that can claim my personal poetic arsenal as home, and I welcome them willingly, Its an incredible exercise in growth.. I made the acquaintance of the Villanelle at my first poetry workshop, Its a 19 line form that has 2 refrains inserted in particular portions of the piece, see if you can spot them. I would like to see more villanelles, the repetition was a tricky, but fun feature to implement. Here is mine, I hope I see yours too.

 

 

They pressed a promise to my palm, those nimble fingers, Miss Elaine,

Teased away the seething tumult, seeding sense to slay decay,

Miss Elaine, you’ve lent a hand that led my hopes away from pain.

 

Time has taught you tenderness, time and time again you’ve slain,

the numbing rein of doubt and angst, your golden touch has saved my days,

They pressed a promise to my palm, those nimble fingers, Miss Elaine.

 

Through every annum we faced as one, your warm embrace was my refrain

Those shallow grooves that trace your palm have funnelled happiness my way

Miss Elaine, you’ve lent a hand that led my hopes away from pain.

 

I stood beside you, at an alter your hands had forged for us to claim.

Forged with trust, your fingers crushed all uncertainty away,

They pressed a promise to my palm, those nimble fingers, Miss Elaine.

 

The seamless mould of interlocking calm, intimately framed

palms, claimed a couple, cupping hearts and slaying greys.

Miss Elaine you’ve lent a hand that led my hopes away from pain.

 

You saw the calluses in my character that taught the world to wield disdain,

and chose the strange approach, you stayed and washed the resin of hapless waves,

They pressed a promise to my palm, those nimble fingers, Miss Elaine,

Miss Elaine you’ve lent a hand that led my hopes away from pain.

 

(c) Saili Katebe