My hands are not the prettiest
fingers are no slender delicate phalanges
shortish, and a little chubby
, or stubby, and
red. The nails are chewn off, cuticles
torn or tips swollen, nail biting
be an ugly habit.
The skin is dry, leathery on the fleshy part
where thumb meets hand, scratchy over the knuckles,
scarred. Cooking, cigarette burns, a minute
slivery line that has always just been
there, small dark blotches where the skin got
rubbed away in a fit of agitation.
One pinkie curves up delicately, a personal
reminder of never to turn on the cake mixer
with my hands in the bowl again. (I was
13, and distracted. Careless.) My thumb
sports a silver ring, twiddle fun when distracted,
and the thumb is narrower then my index finger.
They are not pretty, my hands, but they are functional.
They can fold and write, type and wash dishes.
They can whip up a quick meal, tasty and cheap, they
can hold soft baby and soothe them, they can
trace patterns and grip luggage and move,
I have been told many things about these hands:"Look at
how swiftly she arranged that fruit platter. Amazing."
"You've got mutant fingers!"
"You change the baby's diaper, you're quick and sure
and she trusts you"
"You hold your pen funny, you
"I love the way you touch me."
In truth, I don't care what is being said. You
noticed my hands? You have watched them, observed,
inferred? Good. Because I watch these hands too, they
are mine and any opinion is welcome. They are part
of me, dry and unpretty and beautiful.