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“The Hands of my Mother”

by Janet Kim


The hands of my mother hold my entire world

As a child they were a magical cement

withstanding the heaviest of burdens

Now that I am older I’ve come to see the signs

Of the calloused hands and deteriorating spirit.

The same hands that stroked my face

And rubbed my stomach aches away


Under my burdens

And under my sins

Under my weight, and under my faults.

The way her eyes shine

And her lips curl

The way her legs don’t reach the end of the couch

Reflect in, none other than, her own offspring

Yet I look down at my hands

And see

Them untouched, uncalloused

Every nail intact

I look at hers, hardened and rough,

The selfless sacrifice she gave for me.

I challenge myself, now,

To dream to give

Just half of what my mother gave

To dream to love

Just a quarter of what my mother felt

And to remember

The hands of my mother.


By Janet Kim