On my hands

On my hands I see scars from back when I held handles.

Candlewax skin stretched shiny over knuckles

Old gashes and grafts from broken bottles and glass

I pass my finger over a patch that never tans

These hands held hurt that hurt these hands.

On my fingers I see nicks, cuts and nicotine stains

Past pain painted beneath bitten moons

Ripped ‘Quicks’

These hands have made me sick

Picked locks

Touched dick

Been needle pricked

Like brick & mortar

These hands have worked hard

Worked keyboards



Worked tension from muscles

Worked open stuck lids and latches

These hands have lit matches and had fist fights

Had nights in cuffs and maybe just once in my life…

A manicure

They have touched pure, nearly newborn skin

Skimmed sexually sweaty flesh

Gripped stemware filled with bubbles

These hands have then caused trouble

Been kind and unkind to all kinds.

They’ve been crushed in a firm, dominance asserting handshake

These hands have taken goods not paid for

Explored surfaces and buttons with warnings that say

‘Do not touch!,’



These hands have given a lot of animal pats

Swung bats

Cleaned flats

Tipped hats

Woven plaits

Traced over tatts

Emptied fish & chips from vats…

That’s just some of where the scars have come from.

These hands heal


Help words hit lines

These hands of mine have tickled

Tempted, tapped, snapped & clapped.

Trapped, slapped and wrapped around

They’ve found moisture and dryness

Tried nail polish to disguise their roughness

Distract from their red rawness

These hands have bled

They’ve held saws and hammers and Tug-of-War ropes and other hands but

No rings.

No symbolic, sparkly things.

These hands have done the ‘Peace’ sign

Given the fingers – salutes both One and Two

Kept count visually


Innocently displayed ‘West Coast’




And that ‘V’ from Star Trek I cant’t ever do

These hands have touched a corpse

Have formed shadow puppets like dogs, birds and butterflies

They’ve wiped tears from my own and others peoples’ eyes

Have taken wheels of cars

Un-clipped bras

Unwrapped Mars bars

These hands have shook Shaka’s

Performed Wiri

Thrown ‘Goats’

Spun a Thumbs up

Thumbs down

Waved in that shaking side to side ‘sorta, kinda, maybe, 50 50’ motion

Notioned “Hello”

Signaled “Goodbye”

Gestured and applauded in sign

All of these scars on my hands

Tell a story that’s mine.

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