I saw ripening first on the backs of my hands –
age speckles and pouchy fists, wrinkles
like retreating tide marks in sand,
then oxbow veins channeled to my wrists.
A watershed of blatant blood canals, these
river hands. At birth, seamless babies
grab fat-finger hurry to taste and suck and taste
all sense out of touch. Then hands go to work.
Blood flows a course, pulsing hot, interlacing
in the high relief of pat, pet, fist up, and stroke.
Older veins lift as a blue roots’ stand-up show,
reminders – well-lived, well-loved, miles flowed
to celebrate a stream of touch-love, fingers bent
as guides to rafting where the delta ends.
Tricia Knoll is an Oregon poet whose aging hands continue to do work that fascinates her - writing haiku and poetry, digging holes for daffodils, brushing a dog, and peeling the skin off cooked beets. Her poetry collections include full-length book Ocean’s Laughter (Aldrich Press, 2016) and a chapbook Urban Wild (Finishing Line Press, 2014). Website: triciaknoll.com