In this time of contagion I imagine hands.
Gloved hands wary of touching.
Hands raw from scrubbing.
Fisted hands lifted in protests.
Frail hands, afraid.
Hands burying the dead in unmarked graves.
Hands lighting memorial candles.
Pleading hands, begging for bread.
Clock hands marking time that has slowed . . . .
Today like yesterday and tomorrow and tomorrow
farther than the mind can endure . . . .
Empty hands, needing to create something
out of nothing. We wash our hands of it,
this pain we cannot bear.
Hands painting the empty landscapes of pandemic,
weaving threads into masks,
writing the poetry of virus.
Piano hands easing our days.
Healing hands soothing the sick and dying.
Hands lifting you up and carrying you to safety.
Clapping hands saying thank you.
Hands soil-filled, turning rocks, planting seeds,
Callused hands from heavy lifting.
Hands picking our fruit and vegetables,
those hands too.
In this time of contagion
I will myself to lift my hands in praise.
Instead of a handshake ,
hands meeting in peace. Namaste.
Hands blessing water and wine,
breaking bread together.
Hands joined in dance.
Give me your hand, I’ll give you mine.
Submitted by Miriam Aroner, Contra Costa County – El Cerrito.