These are the Hands

That wearily hold my children as I close my eyes for the last time

That washed a broken body no longer in its prime

That grasped a tarnished mirror and found no hope

That struggled to hold a sippy cup and to cope

 

That transformed to bruised and wrinkled beyond belief

That held onto the gnarled walking stick for support and relief

That shakily applied lipstick that was still an absolute must

And desperately hid the laughter lines that felt so unjust

 

That ecstatically cuddled the grandchildren as they were born

That sadly embraced parents as dementia set in, their memories worn

That patiently learnt to paint as I grew older to stay inspired

That emotionally held the short speech read out when I retired

That doggedly created a culture of which I was proud

And vigorously scribed so my voice was loud

 

That happily wrote books as a surgical trainer and educator

and enabled my career as a senior hospital director

 

That excitedly cut the cake on my 25th wedding anniversary

and gently washed my tangled hair after harsh neurosurgery

 

That hesitantly developed hobbies as illness took over

and immediately crushed the letter informing me, I had an acoustic neuroma

 

That balanced my body against the wall as I was uncontrollably dizzy

and dutifully embraced tasks as I became busy

 

That repeatedly saved lives both young and old

and meticulously recorded the diagnostic stories that I was told

 

And firmly held those dying during their last breath

That fearfully felt the carotid pulse to declare death

That miraculously stopped traumatic bleeding with compression

That incredulously held the knife as I entered the surgical profession

That confidently felt the abdomen during the night on call

That disappointingly created writing that was an unreadable scrawl

 

And furiously wrote the thesis for my vascular Masters’ Degree

That washed the never-ending dishes to pay for the University term fee

That rubbed my tired eyes as I studied for my school exam

That nervously phoned my parents when I was in a jam

 

That came together in temple and family prayer

That struggled to plait my unruly long black hair

That clutched the library books as I studiously learned

That held the fingers of my joyful parents as I was born into this world

 

These are the Hands

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