My Fathers Hands

My Fathers Hands

 Hands that tell their own tale

Weather beaten

Broken nails

Tough as leather

Calloused and soiled

Burnt nut brown from years of toil

 

Hands that rocked the child’s cradle

Steered family course

Kept us stable

Supported me on my first bike

Stopped me falling

Kept me upright

 

Shook me at dawn from my bed

Brewed strong tea

Rich claret red

Hands that tended garden and lawn

Showed me the miracle of life newly born

Hands that cooled my fevered brow

Silenced every sibling row

Hands that guided me the gentle way

Hard at work or child’s play

 

Hands that fashioned child sized tools

So I could work with you after school

Hands that spoke much more than words

Showed love to each as they deserved

Hands that tended plant and stock

Tilled the soil and reaped the crop

Hands that mended fence and gate

Worked all alone with no complaint

 

Those hands told the story of your life

Mirrored joy

Pain and grief

Those hands we joined across your chest

When we laid you to your final rest

 

Dave Kavanagh July 2008

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