Family Hands

My father’s hand
had a shorter finger
cut by grain auger;
his father, one,
from infection.
My hands are scarred,
from work I’ve done,
for myself,
for my mother
as a child and later.
Her hands hit me,
stifled my mouth,
my self,
and shut me down.
Then one day,
decades later,
that hand reached
toward me.
I didn’t know why,
but watched.
Instead of hitting,
it held mine;
a startling experience,
then again a second day.
This was new to my
sixty-five years.
Then my mother died.

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Duane L. Herrmann, internationally published, award-winning poet and historian, has work translated into several languages, in print and online.  He has a sci fi novel, seven full-length collections of poetry, a history book, and more chapbooks.  His poetry has received the Robert Hayden Poetry Fellowship, inclusion in American Poets of the 1990s, Map of Kansas Literature (website), Kansas Poets Trail and others.  These accomplishments defy his traumatic childhood embellished by dyslexia, ADHD and, now, PTSD.  He spends his time on the prairie with trees in the breeze and writes – and loves the light of the moon!

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