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Jan 2013
My hands are calloused
from cold mornings with hot coffee
spent—not wasted—digging
for history.

My hands are scratched
from hoping and praying
as I reach blindly into holes
desperate for something
more than a sherd.

My hands are the victims
of archaeology—destroyed
to prove they existed.

My hands are calloused
from the silent nights
when I rock myself to sleep
clutching shoulder blades
that would make Occam

My hands are stained
from writing down words
that are too often forced.
Like your name.
I smudged it today
as I passed it by.

I’ve never felt more sinister.

My hands are calloused
from assuming.
That plate’s not too hot.
Yes, I can hold that.
Yes, I can manage.
NO. I don’t need help.
I need


My hands are sore
from pulling when everyone else
My hands are bruised
from doors and windows that shut
too fast.

My hands are calloused
from the rails I grip
because I walk too hard.
My hands are calloused
because I’m not made for

My hands are calloused
because they’ve already
a succession of eternities
and they’re determined
to weather more.
Anne M
Written by
Anne M
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