You carried me in one night, to a West Virginian house
Under an electric nighttime sky
Bent over to protect me from the rain
How big those hands must have been to hold me.
Then later, those same hands lay cracked
Upon the table, with bleeding, peeling skin,
Due to cardboard, shoveled (by hand of course)
For 5 days a week – for health and dental.
Those hands have rubbed my head, and fixed my walls.
They’ve fixed my car, my bank accounts,
They’ve driven under squalls.
A weathered, calloused, pair of working palms
Has rowed and paddled Jay and I, and Mom,
On countless trips,
In Maine, or southern swamps.
But even clever, rugged hands get old, and cause in sons
Bright sparks of memory
Of half hitch knots, and innumerable mountain runs.