Just before dark
on an almost Spring like
I cut back some plants
in my garden that is resting.
and think of this poem....
True gardeners cannot bare a glove
between the sure touch and the tender root
must let their hands grow knotted as they move
with a rough sensitivity about
under the earth, between the rock and shoot
never to bruise or wound the hidden fruit.
And so I watched my mother's hands grow scarred
She who could heal the wounded plant or friend
With the same vulnerable yet rigorous love
I minded once to see her beauty gnarled
But now her truth is given me to live
As I learn for myself we must be hard
To move among the tender with an open hand
And to stay sensitive up to the end
Pay with some toughness for a gentle world
I read this poem
thought of my hands
I cannot bear gloves
and the splinters, thorns of the past
Resting from gardening my hands have time to heal.
Hands and nails that were accustomed to compliments
in years past.
At this time of my life
they surely look gnarled
and I might add