Grandmother’s Hands

Grandmother’s Hands

You tell me
You never got to feel them
Your grandmother is dead
Or abusive
Or otherwise
Not in the picture

I can tell you those hands
Carried wisdom and age
And age and wisdom
In the contours of her wrinkles
Like all the other poems
About grandmother’s hands

Your words don’t matter
Because you didn’t have a grandmother
Who sewed dresses
And knit blankets
And gave candy
To little children

She never sewed?
All grandmothers sew

Now I want to talk at length
About the time my parents grounded me
When I was still in high school

This was inspired by a post expressing annoyance at college poets that I swear I’ve seen in multiple places, along with my experiences of going to – and not being that impressed by the content of – amateur slam poetry jams. It’s not to say that I dislike even simple attempts at poetry. Rather, I’m not a fan of topics that are overdone, so I wanted to play around with that sentiment here. Some of the funny looking parts of the poem (namely, the wisdom/age reuse) are intentional, expressing the singular dimension that the hands of grandmothers tend to be described.

On that subject, the absolute best amateur slam poetry I’ve ever heard was called, roughly, “You’re pretty, for a black girl.” Needless to say, I got much more from that one than I did from all the poems about grandmother’s hands combined.

I hope you found it enjoyable.


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