i look at them now.
soft...like a woman's hands.
once they were calloused, strong, manly.
the scars are still there.
also age spots...i notice more every year.
once my hands stroked fair ladie's cheeks...
my hands have wounds from pulling cable...
on cranes and earth moving machines.
burns from oxy-acetylene torches...
it all reminds me of my workers life.
my skin isn't supple now.
it's made out of crepe paper.
a star tattoo remains.
an icon of manhood.
i look at my hands.
i see them folded on my chest.
in a coffin.
no rosary, only a pen in a death grip.
i look at my hands...
dry in the winter.
they crack...and the wounds heal slowly.
my hands are cold.
bad circulation, i guess.
still, they are useful...
for petting cats and dogs.
holding babies and flowers...
for stroking my wife's cheek...
or my daughter's fine, golden hair.
I look at my hands...
how will they look next year?