Mama’s hands are a symbol of strength and beauty—
Aged gracefully like fine vintage wine
Solid like a rock—a firm foundation
Constant like the sun rising in the East.
Mama’s hands are the ones that gently stroked across my cheek
As she wiped tears away and planted nurturing words of
“You can, “You are”, and “You will be Great”
Mama’s hands are the ones that firmly grasped my small hands.
They said, “You are safe”, “I got you”, and “Follow me as I follow Christ.”
Mama’s hands are the ones that spanked my butt
when I stole that piece of candy—
Testin’ her to see if I could get away with it or if she was payin’ attention.
Those firm whops said, “Baby you gotta learn discipline and self control…”
“And if I don’t whip you now—you gonna pay later”…
At the end of a billy club
Or with your life.
Mama’s hands are the ones that formed soft lathered white puffs of perfume,
Which she gently caressed across my back during bath time—singing ,
“Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world—red and yellow black and white, they’re all precious in his sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world.”
Mama’s hands are the one’s that created intricate details of fabrics, shapes and patterns—each sewn with miles of thread, woven in and out—in and out
Lace from auntie’s dress, curtains from a kitchen window
A denim square from big daddy’s overalls—
All formed into a quilt of many colors
That kept me warm through the coldest of winter nights.
A quilt of many colors like the coat of Joseph, the dreamer.
Mama’s hands are the ones with strong pointer fingers—
Not the kind that condemn but
The kind that lifted up a hung down head
And made you feel like you were on top of the world.
Like you were special—Truly the Greatest for real!
Mama’s hands are the ones that were clasped together as she knelt in prayer
Going before the throne in her secret closet—
The one that only she and God knew about.
Mama’s hands are the ones that were raised high in the air
In adoration to the Father—
In surrenderance to His will and His plan for her life—
Even going through, He gave her peace in the midst of her storm…
She proclaimed, “Thou art worthy to receive glory, thou art worthy oh Lord—worthy of glory, worthy of honor for thou art worthy oh Lord”…
Mama’s hands are the ones that turned each page of her weathered and torn bible—folding corners of pages that spoke to her spirit…
“They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength…” “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart…” “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee” “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most high shall abide in the shadow of the Almighty”.
Mama’s hands are the ones that traveled the mixin’ bowl in spiraled motions,
Stirring the batter for pancakes awaiting the hot cast iron skillet.
Snapping and tearing collard greens and shelling beans, as she recounted stories of her youth—growing up in the country—working in the fields, factories, or sling mops so that life would be better for us.
Mama’s hands are the ones that I will always hold dear to my heart…
The praying hands
Lifted up hands
Kneading and knitting hands
Ointment rubbin’ hands
And strong beautiful hands of mama.