Warm Hands, Warm Hearts (Poem)

Sometimes, by chance, because I have hot hands,
I hold the hands of old women, so thin and papery and cold,
as if you can feel life ebbing away already.
Dying takes a very long time for some.

Because of embarrassment, it is always too short a hold
but I would like my heat to course into them,
loosen their joints, unbind their muscles,
so they don’t have to hunker down like threatened soldiers.

I would like to warm them like spring sunshine
so they can unclench their jaws
and breathe, perhaps sigh, and maybe even
love a little with their newly-warmed broken hearts.

6 thoughts on “Warm Hands, Warm Hearts (Poem)

  1. Aging gracefully is difficult
    Living with your body daily is yet
    Another part of grace
    I thought once I was going
    Aging is hard to perceive
    And even hard to achieve
    The Sheldon Perspective

  2. Beautiful, Belinda. I can feel the warmth of your being pulsing through this post. Oddly, I held an aged care resident’s hand yesterday, just after I’d come inside from outside. Her hand was warm, mine was cold. I commented on this and thanked her for warming my hand!
    She smiled deeply.
    I felt she was pleased to be able to offer something to another human at this stage in her life, living in a bed in a fluoro-lit room.

    1. We all feel the desire to be needed or useful, I think. It gives our lives meaning. I think the basis of the huge and (needless to say) painful hiatus I had with my art for a few years was based on the feeling that it wasn’t needed or useful, that it was meaningless in that way. Not sure that I am entirely over that either.
      Also I think a lot of old people lack touch. In fact most of us, unless we are in love or are children or parenting, really don’t get much in our lives.
      Thanks Sally, I’m sending you warmth for your hands.

      1. Thank you in turn, Belinda. I get such heartfeltness from your writing, both your more ‘formal’ work, such as your poetry, and also your less formal comments, such as this one.
        I agree yes yes with all you say here. Yes – a sense of meaning and usefulness is important. Yes – old people often lack touch. Can relate to a painful hiatus in art work and the desire to be meaningful.
        Strange thing is, my extremities can be icy cold while I feel warm at the same time. Thin hands, thin feet, thin skin.
        Wishing you well with the ongoing flow of your ultra meaningful work. x

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