I look at these old hands of mine
and I see the tools they have held
and worked with, the faces they
have caressed, the food and the glasses
of liquor they have raised to my
lips. I see the thousands of hours
they have spent wrapped around
a steering wheel or a pair of drum sticks,
the thousands of times they have worked
a bar of soap over my body or worked
shampoo through a dozen different hair
styles I have worn. I see the guitar strings
my fingers have plucked and strummed,
the hooks I have baited, the lotions I
have rubbed in to my skin, the millions
of times they have pushed or pulled
a knob or a button of some sort.
I look at the lines in the palms and think
of how they have gripped, tightened, lifted,
screwed, unscrewed, held down, pried, twisted
clamped and held a million different objects,
the times they had to spank a naughty bottom.
I observe the wrinkles on the backs of these hands
and remember all of the time and weather they
have withstood, with and without being covered.
I stare at the nails, trimmed somewhat unevenly,
and remember how they have served at different
times as pinchers, screw drivers, tweezers
tooth picks and even as back scratchers.
I think of all the times these fingers have pointed,
signaled, probed, picked, poked, prodded,
and the few times these knuckles, turned into fists,
have punched something or someone…
I look at these old hands of mine and I see
how they have reached for the sky as time has passed
through them, slipped through my fingers like water.
There are fewer days ahead than behind now,
but these hands are ready for whatever else
may come my way.