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A Marriage in the Hands
by
Susan Rooke


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You make a fist, that I might see
your skin grow tight again,
smoothed across your hand.

Those big hands that you like
to joke are too heavy when carried
all day at the ends of your arms.

Then you relax your hand,
and all the skin relaxes, letting 
go the taut shine of youth,

and I see your sacrifice,
the thirty years you’ve held
us close, held my strength

for me, and all your tenderness.
I put my own hand out, relaxed,
palm down, next to yours.

You are aging, so am I, and this 
is something we have sworn
always to do as one. Undeniably

I see we have. Then you make 
a fist again. I make my own. 
As one we smooth the way ahead.
 

© by Susan Rooke.
Used with the author’s permission.

 

 
Purchase a framed print of this poem.

Susan Rooke lives in Austin, Texas.  Despite her normal façade, she's always been interested in the mysterious and odd, and has completed the first novel of a fantasy series. Her work has appeared recently or is forthcoming in The Texas Poetry Calendar 2013, Pulse: voices from the heart of medicine, San Pedro River Review, and on Austin Capital Metro buses.  She and her husband of almost 30 years (who indulges her interests without subscribing to them himself), spend as much time in the mountains of West Texas as possible.

 


New comments are closed for now.
wordlover:

Posted 02/18/2014 10:00 AM
Dorcas:
So much more than skin and fists among deeply rooted friendships.
Posted 02/13/2014 11:42 AM
plgoodman:
You've made me cry, Susan, but everything does. I had hoped for this with my husband of 47 years, but alas, spend my years now in widowhood... Well done!
Posted 02/13/2014 10:21 AM
mimi:
a lovely poem about a topic that concerns a lot of us these days as we age..
Posted 02/13/2014 10:08 AM
CamilleBalla:
I like these moments shared that show recognition of aging together with a rah to commitment to the future. Beautiful!
Posted 02/13/2014 08:57 AM
dotief@comcast.net:
I agree, Wilda. Fists are usually synonymous with anger, but here they are symbols of strength and holding on. I like that very much!
Posted 02/13/2014 08:46 AM
Wilda Morris:
I don't know if Susan wrote this in response to a prompt of "fist," but it is w wonderful example of how the same word can take us in a variety of potential directions. I don't think I've ever seen a positive poem about fists before. This is precious.
Posted 02/13/2014 08:23 AM
Charly:
Beautiful!
Posted 02/13/2014 07:32 AM


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