It’s the fifteenth day of our 30/30!
We’re halfway there, friends. How are you feeling? Have you been able to find time every day? Do you think a few of your responses will turn into poems?
Your prompt today is:
My mother’s hands
Alternatively: my mother’s eyes
Guidelines, if you want them:
- Posting your response is not required
- Feel free to post your response 🙂
- This is not meant to be the perfect first draft – respond without hesitation for 5-7 minutes, then keep going if you want to
- While our prompts are geared towards poetry, we welcome all kinds of artists
- Tips & encouragement are here
Common and quick, like house wrens,
my mother’s hands could type eighty words a minute
on an old Underwood typewriter.
Her long narrow fingers went basically unadorned
except for the simple engagement ring/wedding band duo.
She wasn’t much into polish because her hands
were working hands – type, groom, cook, clean.
The strength was not only present in those eighty words
but also when she brushed and combed,
braided and pin-curled my hair, my sister’s hair.
Sometimes the tug and pull seemed harsh,
yet over time I knew they were doing the job well,
grooming that kept her little girls pretty, without hair in their eyes.
Her hands could pull a Radio Flyer
filled with two little girls to the corner grocery.
Her hands made the best lemon meringue pie and blueberry muffins.
Her hands scoured sinks and toilets with Comet,
washed and hung clothes out to dry before dryers did the job.
Her hands loved to cradle and embrace infants
as she paced them, rocking back and forth, to rest.
Her hands were the ordinary, exceptional hands of so many mothers,
of my mother.
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The Universal Bread Maker was a bucket,
almost five gallons deep, like the chipped
enamel ones we used for the chickens.
Come Friday, mother would load it with
proofed yeast, warm milk, the endless
cups of flour, and we’d begin to turn
the big crank handle. It was like making
ice cream (which I’d heard about from
the neighbors); you’d crank forever
before anything exciting would happen.
Making bread was like that. But finally,
after two risings, she’d grab the hook
and hoist out the six-loaf batch, and
plop it on the floured board. Divide the
dough, set it under dishtowels and begin
to knead. The same way she threw
biscuits together in the morning, she could
roll and fold the dough until it squeaked
and glistened, ready for a final resting then
she’d form loaves and place them in the
matching pans. Her hands glowing from
knowing just how to work the dough.
later, we’d cut heels from the wheat loaves
and slather them with butter and honey.
She’d wield the knife and slice a loaf for
morning toast. Never wore nail polish,
hated gloves. Just used her hands until
one day, they were used up.
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I love the details in this poem, and the last phrase is a beautiful, poignant surprise