Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My Father's Hands


Lend Me Your Hand


As a child,
He would often reach down to take my hand
Walk me through crowded streets
His hands bigger than mine
Rougher and scarred
With big white nails
Like teeth that show on a cartoon smile.

I remember his hands and their mighty grip
With veins massive
such vascularity
these hands never let go to what they hold
like vines on a castle wall reaching the highest tower strong enough to climb.

As I grew older,
I learned that the strength in your hands
Comes from the muscles in your forearms
From gripping tight
From holding long
The constant work of hands that toil
That MAN stregnth.

In his last days,
when those hands touched mine
They failed to impress
They withered
They tired
they trembled more than gripped.

But as I held his hands I felt their past strength
I still felt his might
They still showed their scars
Those memories of his work
Those big hands that taught these hands to grip
Mightily
Tightly
Pumping those veins for vascularity—passion.   

My hands may never be his hands
With that same strength
That roughness
Those many scars
But my hands have been blessed to touch his
To know his
To be molded by his. 

The question stands will my hands lend to my child
What my father’s hands lent to me?
Will my hands be big enough
Strong enough
To never lose a grip
To hold steady through the years
To comb his hair
pat his back
Wipe away his tears
And shoo away his fears?  

My father’s hands never failed me
Even though at times I failed them
I did not reach when they where near
At times I feared their heavy swing
But it never came
Always a gentle stroke
And still I’d walk away and carry my load alone
Not asking for his strength to lend a hand.

Now that he’s gone
It hurts of course…
But I am relieved when I hear his echo.
When my hands come together and pray
For his hands to lend their strength.

“Lend me a hand Father.”
“Son you know I always will.”
“Thank you Father.”
“Son, these hands were made for you.”


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