Grandpa's Hands

By Fred Appelhanz

   Grandpa’s Hands


I remember grandpa’s hands.

Hands that knew

the weight of a hammer,

motion of a saw,

rough-cut of new lumber,

cool, hardness of a nail.


Hands that knew pain

when work demanded sacrifice.

As the blisters would appear,

the calluses thickened.

Hands capable of tenderness,

caressing those they loved.


Grandpa’s hands knew long days.

His hand extended freely in friendship,

always ready to help someone.

Handshakes sealed business deals.

Pride lived within his hands,

rooted in scars and dirty fingernails.


Time changed these remarkable hands,

as age reshaped their abilities.

Gentle hands that cradled

the true love of his life.

Together, in the summer’s twilight

Grandpa’s hands


intimate emotions.

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