Friday, February 20, 2009

My father's hands


His big knobby knuckles, greasy and dirty splayed out fingernails. Lava soap with pumice and an old timer's knife were his only manicure tools. Hands that could race cars and fixed trains and could weld and make something out of nothing. Bloody scrapes with flaps of skin pulled back and old grease filled cuts were no big deal. Those hands seemed too big for his small size. Hands that held my hand. Hands that tickled my knee and hands that helped with math. Hands that frightened me, hands that sometimes hurt my mother. Hands that gripped a whiskey bottle. Hands that petted a bird and dogs. Hands that could build or rebuild anything. Hands that broke the table in half and hands that gently picked up my children. Hands that could caress and hands that could hurt.
Later, sparkling clean fingernails and liver spots and and a growing tremor and restlessness. Hands in deep pockets jingling keys. Hands that wrung against each other and hands that held his head in despair. Hands that took the keys and drove away. Hands that gripped a gun. Hands that took his life.

10 comments:

teri said...

This is so gripping and so touching and I have to ask if this is true or if it is a tribute or fictionalized piece. Either way, it's incredible writing and I'm so glad you shared it here.

teri said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Holli said...

Very visual word imagery Deb, this was a powerful piece. Wow.

shelby said...

Deb..that is so touching..thank you for sharing that with us. I got goosebumps

DaBee said...

I can feel you. Thank you for sharing this with us all. Love you

Cindy said...

Great writing! Made me think of my father's hands...Wow! Just fantastic. Thanks for sharing.

GardeningJo said...

Wow. Your writing is a gift not only to yourself but to those of us you share it with.

Lizzi said...

Deb, I've read this post over and over and it keeps sticking in my mind. Your description, your imagery, your style, your simplicity - all of this combined gets to how many facets people have. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful piece.

dragyonfly said...

Everyone, thanks so much for your comments. I debated writing it, but wanted to share a little bit about him, even though It was pretty personal, I feel like I am safe here with you all. He was very complex and mysterious to me, then and even now.
Thanks again.

Thauna said...

This is so beautiful, moving, and sad. I'm so glad your shared and you're following your dreams to write, because you write beautifully!!!