Jesse’s Hands

This poem is another marriage/love poem I wrote for my husband.  The meter is more flexible than most of the ones on this site: 3 four-line stanzas of mostly anapestic tetrameter:  xx/-xx//xx//xx/-.  The form is AAAA, BBBB, CCCC.

Jesse’s Hands

Strike a nail, hold a staple, stretch a fence, and milk a cow,

Grease a zirc, then rock the baby, buck a bale, or show me how

To ease my labor, calm my fear, to train a child, to plant or plow–

Scratch a life from thorns and thistles—past and future, here and now.

.

Rough and calloused, bruised and rugged, sure to make this family’s way,

Open to receive or furnish bread, truth, wisdom for each day.

Fix a motor, start a tractor, change a tire, change my way—

Holding, lifting, strong, supporting, showing more than words can say.

                                                                        .

Leather-hard in storm and blizzard, warm and gentle on my face,

Teaching, guiding, firm providing, rooted motion, steady pace.

Scarred and chapped and stained from farming, years of struggle won’t erase,

But my hands, when held within them, know they’ve found their resting place.

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