His Hands
by Thelma T. Reyna

He doesn’t speak with his hands, but his hands
speak volumes of him—artist, poet, professor—
fingernails jagged and black with earth he tills
and cups in concrete urns and terra cotta pots.
His hands are brown, cordova brown, leathered,
long-fingered, and lined, his father’s hands from
citrus lands. Knobbed and tinged with years, his
fingers splay on piano keys with ease, play Bogey’s
Casablanca gem, again and again, eyes sealed in
transport, fingers stroking the ivories oh so tenderly
when his sheet music whispers. His hands feed
chickens and goats before dusk, cook pancakes
for daughters when sunlight awakes. As the sky
goes black, studded with shards, and the witching
clock ticks 3, his fingers curl on keyboard keys
to craft essays brimming with wisdom and wit.
His hands are brown, cordova brown, fingers
cupping, stroking his wife’s face in moonlit rooms
with the lightness and grace of dewdrops.

Originally published in Altadena Poetry Review: Anthology 2024.
(Golden Foothills Press: Editor, Peter J. Harris).

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