by Sharon M. Kennedy
These hands have served me well all the long years of my life. I think of the work they have done, the loved ones they have held, and the stories they have written. I think of the times when I wanted to quit but my hands clasped in prayer, telling me I had the strength to go on. When I was young, my hands and I were enemies. My eyes could not see their beauty, only the too-long, too-thin fingers resembling pieces of hard spaghetti reaching hopelessly towards a beautiful world where they did not belong.
Eventually, after years and years of silence, my mouth told my eyes to leave my hands alone. Now in the waning years of my life, I honor these old, ugly fingers. Long after my eyes have gazed on this world for the last time, long after they have turned to dust, my hands will reach upwards, changed yes, but still more dependable, more true, than the blue eyes that mocked them. Why? Because they will have written what my eyes could not see and in that writing lies a speck of immortality—the fruits of these gnarled, old hands.