my hands are small

with short fingers

a short attention span

and a long temper


my hands have driven trucks

down back country roads

with windows down

and laughter echoing

over canola yellow fields

this one is for my body

my hands have held the fingers

of lovers and entwined their hair

these hands have waved goodbye

and cleaned them from under her nails

this one is for northern prairie dirt

my hands have held stories

and songs

and screams

this one is for when tears don’t feel like ceremony

my hands have held keys between knuckles

have held fear in fists

have held the anger in that fear

have held the sadness in that anger

this one is for rivers that never stop flowing

my hands always have one finger pointing to the exit

even when they are at home

this one is for when mourning is a river

my hands have shuffled

the same deck of cards that

grandpa did

that kokum did

that mom did

that aunty did

this one is for when love and loving aren’t the same thing

my hands are ready to

burn it down;


rip a hole in the dirt

so that the next generation

of these hands

can dip them in the waters

where the rivers meet.


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