« Book Listing | Main | Women of Color: Writing Our Stories »

Hands

In Saturdays class we used the triggering subject of hands, women's hands. We wrote for 10-15 minutes. Here is my piece.

------
Aunt Rose was in the kitchen making herself something to eat for lunch. She had on her blood red robe that zipped up the front with small lace design around the collar. She moved from the back cupboard to the table with a plate, then a bowl, which she filled with lettuce. I watched her pour the dressing over the top of the lettuce. I recognized her hands, the long thick brown fingers like her brothers, my dad's. Aunt Rose shuffled to the refrigerator for the left over chip-beef sandwich from yesterdays outing. She pulled open the styrofoam container and I saw the palm of her hand. A chocolate color crease marking her life line, long like like mine. Her hands, like my hands.

Reminds me of the last visit when she shared how her husband's hand hit her, slapped her. How her hands took a hammer and broke up ice outside to get the water hose, frozen to the winter ground. How her hands dragged the hose in the house, to the bathrooom, to the tub. Her hands turned on the water and her hands carried the hose and nozzle to the bedroom where her hands unleashed a spray of cold water, dousing her husband. Spraying him in bed till he was soaked. Her hands fought back.
----

I was in Philadelphia visiting my dad's family. And when I saw my Aunt Rose again, I didn't realize how much she favored my dad. Down to her mannerism, down to her hands. Hands say different things about a person. Color, tecture, and size all come into play. I have many creases, lines around my knuckles. They make my hands look old and yet strong. I have big palms and give firm hand shakes. I believe that my hands are the way they are because I need to be able to hang on to life, when things get rocky. These hands need to know how to fight back.

Whose hands do we have and how do we use them?