Show me Hands …..

The  hands of a mother walking her baby into life
Hands that  soothe a troubled brow
and caress tired shoulders,
clear  a frown

Tender hands that wipe away  tears  of pain
Hands that are never quiet
That   wash and clean and bind and knead
and shape and mould and  sometimes plead.

Show me the gentle  hands of the lover
Warm hands, caressing hands, tender hands
hands that soothe the “ravelled sleeve of care”
hands that show love unasked
fingers that say without any words, “I love you”.
Even to point out mistakes and to help in putting them right.

You might know the hands of which I speak
Hands that must obey that primordial instinct
To create….
So, show me hands that compose the music of the spheres
And bring it to our ears,
so we must  listen
Even for a few moments, transformed.
Hands that capture our deepest feelings
In quatrains or in sonnets, in  blank verse or in prose
So we read them and understand
Hands that show human strengths, human failings,
The  beauty of a world teetering on the edge of extinction
To preserve it with ink and paint and canvas.
So we view them and are mindful.

Let us not forget the hands that sow seeds, and plant, dig wells,
Construct and build, create new things,  
Hands that reap what they have sown for the good
With gratitude.
Yes, show me those hands.
Hands stretched  out in welcome
Hands  waving  fond farewells;
The hands that give are   hands
Open to receive.

Show me hands that  write words of love
Of forgiveness
Of gratitude
Of advice
Of friendship
Of invitations
Of condolence
Of gentle remonstrance
Of pleading,
Of courage  

Words that are white flags of peace
Words that ease the pain of a broken heart

I want to look at the calloused hands of a father working ceaselessly
To provide for his family
And even though he might not say  words
His hands can also caress a tousled head  or wipe away a tear
or fix what is broken.
Show me those hands.

I prefer not to see those hands
That can only destroy, abuse, cause pain,
Become violent against  the weak.
Keep my gaze away from hands that hold guns
With  fingers ready to pull a trigger without care,
Wield  a knife,
or pull the bow that shoots the arrow of misfortune;
Consider those hands that are the willing tools
of evil brains
That produce  weapons of war
Causing innocent blood to flow

When other gentler hands must bathe the dead
And dig the graves to hold them.

I prefer not to acknowledge
Hands that hold a poison pen.
Do not show me  a hand  that refuses to give help,
or even to receive it
What are those hands  to me
Except impediments to a better world?

Give me those hands that give life to a sick and broken  body
That administer the anodyne of life
Like  the deft hands of the surgeon
and the gentle hands of a nurse
Give me those hands that point the straight way to a student
Who will, in turn, do the same for others
Give me hands that remove the stone that blocks
the path of a traveler
when other hands did not.
Those are the hands worth looking at.
These are  the same  hands
That will lift towards heaven
Asking for help, and saying  “Thank you”,
To ask for guidance and to receive it.