Her weathered and creased hands hold memories:
She played peek-a-boo with Baby Brother
On cotton bedding in an earthen home
When everyone was poor and life was hard.
Early mornings, farmland warmed by weak sun,
Her strong fingers grasped and milked cow's udders,
Part of chores before the long walk to school.
Her creased hands hold weathered memories:
In worn leather jacket and high-water jeans,
He claimed her hand with his soulful blue eyes
And tender letters written from boot camp.
In tough leather gloves and a safety veil,
She stole amber-colored honey from bees
And taught her young sons to be courageous.
Her hands hold creased and weathered memories:
In the final years of her mother's life,
She held her weak hand while the slight woman
Lost her way, not remembering her child.
She smiled and held the photos out to me;
Her strong, sound mind shared the fragile slivers
Of time and place that connect us to life:
Her weathered and creased hands hold memories.
Happy 84th birthday to the strongest woman I know: my grandmother, Christine Wells. Thank you for always loving and supporting me.