My Mother’s Hands

My two sisters and I

received our height from our father

and our hands from our mother.

We went through life long-limbed

and long-fingered,

the bones of which were thin and fine,

tapered like a painter’s brush

and laced with the blue tinge of veins;

the evidence of life

under cool, pale skin.

Our mother worked

to give us these pieces of her,

to show us how to use them.

These hands were stitched together for us

with thread and fabric

and a thimble on her thumb.

Palms dirty,

she grew them out of the soil,

tucking seeds into the earth

the way she tucked us into bed

and patted down the covers.

These hands we saw

folded in prayer,

wringing with worry,

sore from labor—

now we know

how to make ours do the same.

And whenever it feels useless,

whenever my hands get knotted

and cannot do the work,

I remember the time when

my father told me

that one thing he noticed

while falling in love with my mother

was that she had beautiful hands.

(c) 2013 Marie KR


80% Us

I heard from a fellow writer, once,

that writer’s block

must be sort of like dirt,

because showering seemed to be

the best way to break free of it.

For me it is more like dust;

particles of you and me

clinging to my breathe,

filling the air

and settling thickly

until I cannot place

pen to paper

for the layer of grime

and the heavy air starts to clump in my throat.

and I must leap for the door,

straight outside

to breathe,



clean out my lungs

and make room for words again.

(c) 2013 Marie KR