Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Small hands

They were small hands, like a child's, but dispossessed of their due grace and delicacy. They were rough and callused, the fingers gnarled like old tree roots. Greenish serpentine veins crawled on the back of the palms. The nails were clean, being perpetually soaked in laundry and dishwater, without polish or other signs of professional ministrations. They were hands that worked and, at rest, they trembled from years of neglect and being triflingly treated.

A permanent depression had formed on the side of the middle finger, where it cradled a pen when writing or drawing. Some said that beautiful words and pictures were created by this hand, at no insignificant cost to the wielder.

The hands curved down to surprisingly dainty wrists, one of which bore the marks of a troubled past. Streaks of thin, white scars that glistened when light grazed them, beautiful for their pain and passing.

The fingers curled, stiff with strain, and could not join palms in prayer.

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