These frail hands.

“Magenta” she says

As her faltering fingers flutter for the polish.

I stroke one layer on her crooked pinky and she sighs

As she strokes my hand with her unpolished thumb.


My precision is what she is amazed by.

But the amazement veers to

Bewilderment as I notice through the glass of her gleaming eyes

The wish that the trembling would cease


These frail hands that I hold were once capable of much more

than mine will ever be;

Scrubbing filth of mud and hatred out of her clothes and heart

While still holding on to her washcloth and faith.


These fragile hands that I hold are strong

Filled with memories and wisdom

Regret and forgiveness

That my precision will never be able to polish over 


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