Salome Magazine
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LAce Posted Monday, January 24th, 2005
Ann Walters

Thereís this picture of my mother, and itís all hands. I love the strength of her hands in it, the way they look like theyíve known real work, with their trim, unpolished nails. The fingers are solid and straight, except for the third finger of her left hand, which bends a little sideways where she broke it when she was twelve. Neither long nor delicate, they are fingers that can trace a Chopin Sonata as well as keep a grip on a squirming child crossing a busy street.

My motherís hands do not look old or young in the picture; they have the firm, unwrinkled leanness of life in its prime. The left bears a simple band of white gold on the fourth finger, identical to the one my father wears. On the right hand is another ring, this one with an emerald surrounded by words commemorating her education, and dated the year she graduated from college Ė the year before my birth.

Her hands are pale, but the skin is not yet translucent and thin; the veins remain hidden where they belong. Iíve looked at the picture so many times, I am certain the joints are normal. There is no swelling, no sense that they are painful or difficult to move. The hands are all you can see in this picture of my mother holding me on her lap, fingertips meeting easily across my small chest, enfolding me. They are the hands of a woman with a future.

Comments [post a comment]

Posted by Miriam Kotzin on Tuesday, January 25th, 2005 at 5:21 AM
This is a sensitive, beautiful piece, emphasizing the fragiligy of life. So much love and loss are in these three paragraphs..

Posted by Robin Slick [ ] on Tuesday, January 25th, 2005 at 7:41 AM
Oh, this is lovely, Ann. Extremely powerful.

Posted by Kathy Fish on Tuesday, January 25th, 2005 at 8:22 AM
Simply lovely, Ann.

Posted by Pamela Griffin [ ] on Wednesday, January 26th, 2005 at 6:07 AM
Is this all of our mothers or what? The images are universal, clear and touching. I have directed my mom, aunts and sister-in -law to this site just so they can share this good work. Thanks. Pamela

Posted by W. Olivia Race [ ] on Wednesday, January 26th, 2005 at 7:42 AM
Absolutely wonderful!

Posted by Cecilia Miller on Wednesday, January 26th, 2005 at 3:58 PM
This is beautifully done. Hands are such a telltale sign of life. I must admit that I always wear a smile when the nipped and tucked stars show their battle weary hands.

Posted by Judy Cabito on Thursday, January 27th, 2005 at 11:35 AM
Very gratifying, every woman can relate to this story.

Posted by Lauran Strait on Sunday, January 30th, 2005 at 8:53 AM
This is lovely, Ann, and it leaves me with warm fuzzies.

Posted by Patricia Parkinson on Sunday, January 30th, 2005 at 5:00 PM
Hi Ann, this is so lovely, They are the hands of a woman with a future, such a stong and visual statement, thank you for sharing this piece.

Posted by Katrina Denza on Monday, January 31st, 2005 at 8:11 AM
Lovely, Ann.

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