Hands brown as leather.
Freckled, worn, gnarled, bruised.
Old woman rocking softly, the years showing in all the lines of her face.
Such a proud life she has lived, not easy, but truly lived.
Hands that have helped others, held babies, then grandbabies, lastly great grandbabies.
She listens to birdsong; wind sounds through the trees.
They tell her death was knocking on her door, she opens it unafraid.
Her hands stretch out, her weathered, and tired legs taking energy she could not afford to give.
Over the hill that she may be, but she still has a voice, still has a beating heart.
Loving is the only thing that distinguishes humanity from animals.
Forcing those legs to work after thirty minutes of sitting was hard.
If only she could ride the horse, she raised one more time, he had been dead for fifty years.
Shaking her head looking out the dirty window, lifting her leathery hand toward the sun,
Looking at the wrinkles and thin blue lines remembering plump pretty hands.
~ Kristi Ivey
Lafollette, Tennessee, USA