These Hands

These hands let your tiny fingers curl around them on the day you were born. These hands changed, fed and bathed you. They stroked and supported your head, when your head was so small it fit into one of them. They rubbed and patted your back after every feed and gently jogged you to sleep over a shoulder. These hands pointed out each word and picture in the books of bedtime. They enveloped yours in safety in a parking lot and hoisted you out of a car seat. These hands guided you over the threshold on the first day of school, clapped and took proud pictures. They dabbed away scrapes, buttoned your front, applied band-aids to your knees, rinsed soap out of your eyes, did up your laces and brushed your hair every morning and night. They built plastic castles, placed candles in cakes, fed coins into rides and shovelled sand into buckets. These hands filled out forms, wrote letters to teachers, held you fast during shots and unwrapped candy afterwards. They tickled you, itched you for hours just the way you liked it and massaged cream into your skin. These hands decorated cupcakes, carried ingredients when your homework demanded it, glued costumes, painted your nails and sponged on make-up. These hands traced the routes on maps and drove miles to see you, laden with comforts from home and changing snow tires in mountain winters. They scribbled long, supportive letters and gripped the phone to hear your plaintive, faraway voice begging to come home. These hands lit and stubbed countless fretting cigarettes on long nights wondering where you were. They bandaged the sores on your feet, bathed your bruised body and washed your street torn clothes, seeking their last few dollars at the bottom of a handbag to hold out to you.

These hands covered a face and soaked up wounded, desperate, impotent tears when they led you away in chains, screaming my name in a courtroom. They held your baby son up to bulletproof glass for you to see on visits and wrapped parcels full of precisely folded clothes and frivolous treats. These hands painstakingly mended heirloom jewellery, adorned you with pearls, and interlaced tightly with the fingers of your father on the day you were married. They brushed stray hair from your face and scrubbed your kitchen clean. These hands foraged for food to give and wrung with pleas in the small hours of a morning. They scoured the net, clicking on your booking number and address and pushed fat letters full of the stories they typed through post box mouths. These careworn, lined hands sit empty and idle, missing their child.

These are your mother’s hands.


About alisonlouisehay

Assuming Alison was a cat, it would be safe to say she had already used up a fair proportion of her nine lives. Not long after leaving school as a disgraced convent girl she met a young hairdresser and became a canvas for multiple styles, cuts and colours as his model in competitions, but fortunately for her scalp he was to find fame as a founding member of a global phenomenon called Culture Club. Careening around the continents as Eighties Ambassadors For Excess was only part of the story as their relationship weathered a move from London to Los Angeles in what is commonly known in 12 Step circles as 'doing a geographic' in the erroneous hope that a) life will improve and b) the tax man will not catch up with you. They paused from their mission of world domination in 1986 to bring forth a daughter in an earnest bid to propagate the wildest offspring on the planet; would that every day could begin at 4 am with a voice on the telephone saying, "This is the LAPD - are you the mother of Sunny Hay?" Divorce followed in the mid-nineties and Alison embarked upon the wonder of American Men, including a former Playgirl Man of the Year, satisfying herself that everything is indeed, bigger in America, and occupying herself with the occasional spate of interior design for Sharon and Ozzy amongst others. Later she assumed the job of growing the company of English lingerie purveyors Agent Provocateur in the U.S, affording her the opportunity of seeing the world's most famous women naked and introducing her to the London based and married CEO with whom she eloped on a rashly considered two year stint in the Middle East as the only pink haired woman in the region while rearranging the face of Middle Eastern retail. Keen to fuck up her life on a fresh continent, she escaped back to London to spend a year living with her old friend Boy George as a refugee in his Gothic mansion until finding her own sanctuary. Alison is currently Nana Pink to LA's coolest kid, Lion, and resides in East London. Hobbies include collecting orange carrier bags and research into disposing of moths in ways that don't leave obvious scuffs on walls.
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4 Responses to These Hands

  1. Jane says:

    I can really relate. Nicely expressed. xx

  2. This is beyond wonderful. I have no words. Stunning.

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