Words by Xenia Hackett
Oh, look at my hands, they’re the hands of an old woman.
Yes, look at your hands, Mama, at the veins deep blue and they weave through your finger bones like vines do a rainforest’s roof. Do you remember like the one you told me about when you travelled the world? Where the trees were large and broad and reached higher than you could see. You loved the bark the most, especially the type that rippled and warped like the wrinkles on your hand, like those lines just there. And remember, you said as you stood at the base where the ancient roots grew, you watched as an orangutang, marvellous and skilled, made its way gracefully down to where you stood. And it reached out its hand, and you nearly cried because her wrinkled fingers clasped yours, so leathery and soft. That gentle hand took your breath, they were strong, and had gone through a lot, yet she touched with care, hands mastered in working, in giving, in holding, in loving. So strong, they help us all stand.
Hold my hand, Mama.