Hands I Miss

2023 Barrett Winner

3rd Place Kalimah Gardner

Brown hands.
Gigantic hands.
Hands that made words fly.
Hands that made the earth quiver in fear
yet, so soft they eased my pain.
And gently carried me like the moon in the sky.
Hands that rocked me to the rhythm of his heart.
Hands that soothed dancing nerves
and comforted a restless mind.
Hands that watched stubby little legs
dance in green fields.
Hands that were stained with joy
and wiped lonely crumbs from a crooked smile,
but continued to eat anyways.
Hands that tanned in the sun
and swayed in the moonlight.
Hands that were covered in a day’s hard work
but wiped off their existence on $3 shirts.
Only to come home to a wife’s kiss and gentle tugs pulling on worn pants,
forgetting why his hands ached in the first place.
Hands that twirled to old blues
till they were one with the melody.
Hands that grew from fires burning in yards and homes adorned with spite.
Hands that reached for loved but felt its firm rejection on his burning cheek.
Hands that swore to make a change and birth mouths that will move mountains
and stand adamant to the wind.
Hands that grew tired and rested upon shaken knees.
Those hands.
His brown hands.
Now belong to nothingness.
Those sweet hands swayed with the wind
and dissipated into the thinness of the night.
Leaving behind longing fingers
reaching out for his brown hands
Only to touch the airs of yesterday.