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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
blush.

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

Space.


My hands are sore
from pulling when everyone else
pushed.
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
waiting.

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