these hands have held five babies, over and over and over again.
These hands have pushed trikes, bikes, chairs, swings, have combed hair, tied plaits, knotted shoes, scrubbed out the mud from football boots, held the handle of a hoover day after day after day, ironed, stirred, flipped pancakes, picked up ladybirds, ailing birds, and snails in the middle of the road.
These hands have held chess pieces, lit fires, clapped at concerts, and open evenings, poured water into paddling pools and planted trees, made homes for insects and ponds for frogs.
These hands have given ‘holding time’ to one energetic boy child who always wanted to go his own way, after realising that smacking didn’t work on an 18 month-old that rolled over and got up everytime I laid him on his nappy, and a good thing too, since he’s now a doctor.
These hands have been held out for the cane aged seven or eight, until this person realised that the punishment of sitting on a chair was the better one.
These hands have penned 7 novels, 3 of them published,
These hands have held the hand of a dead boy, only 19 years, and placed a coat over another boy, this one not a brother but a stranger knocked down in a road in Spain.
These hands have signed documents of proof, and asked for references so that this person could go to university,
These hands have picked out tarmac from a child’s knee,
And held a book every single day for forty-something years.
These hands have drawn illustrations that may never be seen, except by a few small children,
These hands have typed over a thousand medical letters.
These hands have played jazz on a Victorian piano, and twinkle twinkle on the violin.
These hands have baked exotic dishes like biscotti, Victoria Sandwich and Gespatcho.
These hands have pruned, and planted, tended and passed, priced and tagged, clipped and mended, sewn and knitted, and still these hands seem unbreakable.