these are old hands
he looks down and sees wrinkles.
these are old hands, my father says
blue veins tracing rivers
over the backs of his hands.
that I know better even than mine.
but I don’t see old -
the terror of death in paper charts,
in the hospital hallways where I am told to
just wait. my father looks down at most things –
literally. (he’s six feet going on eight feet) I have grown up
squaring my shoulders,
ready to prove my worth with my voice. my father is older but
not aged. he knows that between the grave pauses
of the doctors, before they say their diagnoses,
before the results are revealed in the papers,
there are moments. looking down at hands.
hands enclosed in hands.
taking the time of the pauses
melding them into hours
and fresh experience and saying
what you see. that’s the
only way to embrace bad news. that’s what I see
when I see my father’s hands.