His Hands

His hands that made my childhood now were calm,
the bruising cruel butterfly had flown.
Fingers lay waxen in my motherís palm
as she faced into thirty years alone.

It was his hands that made me weep, she wrote,
hands that created much, endowed with skills
not common. Building me my small brown boat,
holding our space - until the cell that kills.

And now in lockdown his great grandson grows,
develops skills so quickly they are lost-
known to me just through tiny videos
he sits and plays not knowing that great cost.

Fat fingers crash through plastic cows and sheep
once more it is male hands that make me weep.

Madeline Stringer
Dublin Unitarian Church