These Hands

by jimowensjr

These hands,

with blistered red palms

and aching fingers,

so gashed and scraped,

scarred from their endless toil,

blemished by digging and scratching,

in the red and ochre clay,

nails worn from ceaseless combing

through the obsidian loam,

angered from the relentless searching

for treasure buried deep beneath  sun-scorched sands.


This back,

that yips and barks,

whining like and some infant

longing for his mother’s comfort,

knotted muscles, burning

mourning and pleading,

begging for mercy,

carrying burdens from ancient labors,

stooped, yet rising,


sometimes rising with counterfeit hope laden by the weight of fool’s gold found;


These eyes,

that search,

staring into the horizon,

fatigued from incessantly peering into the glare,

watching mirages of home dance across the waters,

clouded by soot and smoke and dust,

the detritus of misunderstanding

becoming tears of relief,

squinting to focus,

to truly see,

to behold that elusive jewel, that hidden treasure, buried by the pirates of illusion;


These hands,

that now finally possess,

gently holding the ruby-laden cup,

encrusted with delicate stones,

pressed by time and weight,

shaped by fires that have burned away the dross of confusion,

these open, broken, filthy hands

these hands that have turned over stone after stone,

these hands that have tossed aside the broken glass,

and the scattered remnants of fools and tyrants and the lost,

without clutching, for just this moment, or perhaps longer, at last possess,

that once hidden treasure, salvaged from deep within.