“memory of hands”

April 14, 2008

i remember your hands.
small, porcelain wrists and ivory palms
slim fingers like birch twigs reaching skyward,
not brittle, like winter, but strong and nimble.
summer branches.

i remember your dancing fingers
twirling paint brushes expertly,
appropriating color and light as
your birthright. how you painted,
stroke by stroke, deliberate, serene.
calm hands, steady wrists, careful fingers.

i remember feeling so awkward
trying to hold your clever hand
in my clumsy paw, always afraid
of crushing your tender limbs with
my too ardent grasp.

i remember how you would always
hold my hand firmly, confidently
reassuring me with intentional fingers
that i wouldn’t break you,
that i didn’t have to be afraid to squeeze,
that you didn’t see my pudgy fist as ugly
or unwelcome. with the gentle genius of your grasp
you dispelled my doubts.

i remember too much, and remind myself that
i don’t miss you anymore.
but i miss your brilliant hands.