The Hands

The poor hands, overworked and dry,
dressing the body like maids
who button the lady’s silk shirt
and fan her with their palms.

The poor palms
with their geography of lines.
One is broken,
another tells us, short life.

It is just like the hands
to tell their stories without shame.
Even held down, the white knucklebones
assert themselves through the skin.

— Linda Hogan

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