on hands

a mother’s hands.
the soft white blanket of memory recalls my mother’s hands. smooth, strong, dark, weathered, they brushed my hair, wiped my tears, drummed absently against my back.
they were magical, those hands–they wrought fresh bread, smoothed away fears, held us all together.

i look down now, into the joy of fresh life, of innocence and wonder, and suddenly i see them.
no longer a child’s.
no longer a wife’s.
not even simply a woman’s.
a mother’s.
a mother’s hands pitted with dry skin–too concerned with tickles and loving to seek moisture.
a mother’s hands smoothing unruly hair, caressing butter-smooth cheeks, cupping a perfectly rounded bottom.
a mother’s hands playing hide and seek, dancingholdingintertwining with the hands of a child, a baby–
i look down and see not hands all my own, but hands entirely new.
at once foreign and familiar, disconcerting and comforting.
a mother’s hands.

on longing

longing.
something healthy, something destructive.
something inspiring, something unbearable.
i feel longing.
it is an ache in my chest, a yearning in my fingertips, a whisper in my heart.
longing is a gentle hand, guiding me forward–
longing is a dagger sinking into my skin, leaving me exposed, vulnerable: an open wound.

i long for freedom.
sky above me, wide and clear.
earth below me, warm, pulsing, rife with sounds, smells, textures.

i long for home.
the promise of a place, a structure, that is all mine, a safe haven, a retreat.
the quiet confidence of family, of support, of contentment.

i long for health.
for health to spread through his tiny body, hot blood pulsing through his veins, his body heart mind robust, full, strong.
for vitality to run through my family, energy high, hearts hopeful, bodies strong.

i long for strength.
strength to hold fast to my convictions, to proclaim the truth i know and hold so dear, to step out in faith when the road seems thorny, dark, unknown.

i long for peace.
the peace of knowing my family is safe, the peace of being able to trust, the peace of certainty, of support.

i feel longing. i feel longing for my present, for my future.
for my little love’s future, my family’s future.
i feel longing.
at once beautiful, heartbreaking, anguished–
an ever-present ache drawing my heart forward.