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
These hands have made me sick
Been needle pricked
Like brick & mortar
These hands have worked hard
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…
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
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 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
Unwrapped Mars bars
These hands have shook Shaka’s
Spun a Thumbs up
Waved in that shaking side to side ‘sorta, kinda, maybe, 50 50’ motion
Gestured and applauded in sign
All of these scars on my hands
Tell a story that’s mine.