Oma’s Hands

Small, white mottled with creamed coffee blotches,

dark blue veins stand out as raised rivers

of old blood, draining these tiny islands

The skin wonderfully wrinkled in folds,

all hills and valleys, no smooth plains here


These hands in decades past caressed the hot

brows of sick children, fed them peppermint tea;

chopped, stirred, cooked one hundred thousand meals

washed and dried a million dishes and spoons.

Folded diapers, ironed pinafores, straightened collars


Their work done at last, sweet Oma gently smiles

while her hands lie at rest on her lap

curled up like flower petals with colors faded,

growing ever thinner, drying to dust,

still as stone monuments centuries old