Paul looks at his hands
and feels they are the wrong hands.
Someone else’s hands he found
like lost gloves on the roadside.
These hands have more knowledge of natural rope
and how to bulldog a steer then tie it up.
They have aches where he has never ached
and two fingers at unnatural angles.
Even though these hands feel like someone else’s hands
they accept Paul’s blood pumped by his heart.
Their skin is dry all over and cracked in places
with calluses he does not remember earning.
They do not know how to grip a baseball
to throw a knuckle curve.
These hands instantly ball into a fist
every time they hear the word Nigger
ready to do violence to whoever spoke so foolishly—
in a darkened alley or out in the open if necessary.
copyright © 2023 Kenneth P. Gurney
Happy New Year. My wish for you is that you have the persistence to turn your New Year’s resolutions into reality. May you see the wonder of this world daily.