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Grandmother's Hands

by Snoink


I can't stop my fingers from trembling.
Hold them straight, flat, in front of my face
and watch them dance out of rhythm.
And I'm not sure why--I can only think of
my grandmother's face, peering out to mine
with a half-tragic smile.

And I remember how bony her fingers felt.
Her skin felt like latex gloves, blue from
arteries, pressing out to become
mountain ridges all over her hands.
I remember that her hands trembled too--
we would joke about it, and when we sat together
on her too-big bed, I would
curl her cold hands into my own
and press it deep within my heart
in hopes of warming what could not be warmed
and saving what I could not save.

I was stupid then--I didn't know
when to stop. When the doctors talked of
taking her feet, I blinked and when she lay
strapped, her blood rushing through machines,
I hid away. I couldn't even watch her as she pricked
her paperthin fingers before every meal.
To me, she was my future and I could see my reflection
in her rosy cheeks and wrinkled face full of laughter.
Even our names matched, and when she called my name,
her eyes turned tender and she would squeeze my hand
softly. For that short second, I could feel her fingers
warming up in mine...

And now fog wheels and dives into the valley where she
lies. It is green and poppies and mustard dot the hillsides
where she used to roam. Above her is a bouquet of
plastic flowers, roses just placed on her anniversary.
Below her is her husband.

And sometimes I wonder, deep in warm earth,
whether her quiet fingers are still icy cold.


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Thu Sep 02, 2021 10:32 am
Dossereana wrote a review...



Hi @Snoink I'm back with a second review on yet another wonderful poem of yours. So let's dive right into this shell we.

Wow I don't come across poetry now day's that is this long, I miss seeing this sort of thing. I'm loving it. You did an amazing job of describing these hands, you went into such depth that my own fingers started tingling and the images that came into my head were booming with every line of this poem. I also found that the way you laid the hole poem out was really easy to read. So all in all I'm again fully satisfied with what I've red.

And now fog wheels and dives into the valley where she
lies. It is green and poppies and mustard dot the hillsides
where she used to roam. Above her is a bouquet of
plastic flowers, roses just placed on her anniversary.
Below her is her husband.

And sometimes I wonder, deep in warm earth,
whether her quiet fingers are still icy cold.


Oh what a beautiful place to be berried in, sounds lovely. This end part is sad though. to no that she is dead.

One little thing that I thought I should say, please don't get upset because this doesn't mean I don't like the poem I love it.
The reason that one line is in bold, is because I'm not really sure what you meant by below her is her husband. Because from that I'm thinking that his in the same grave with her. You might have meant it like he was behind or in front, or on the left side, or the right side. Just a small thing no big deal though.

So that is all that I can say I loved reading this poem, you are so good at it. *gives this one a like* my lonely like. :) It deserved it.

I hope you have a great day/night witch ever side of the world your on.

@Dossereana Flying Over The Green Room And Spreading Shards Of Encouragement
Image




Snoink says...


OH BOY. I forgot that this poem even existed. Though, it seems fitting. I've been lately looking at my own hands, especially since I've been sort of mentally preparing myself for another round of gestational diabetes. I've been thinking about her and how she used to prick her fingers, haha. We named our third child after her, and now that child has grown dark curly hair, just like she once had. :) My grandmother would be tickled pink by this, lol.

Anyway, in regards to your question... My papa was buried about 7-8 feet deep so that my grandma could be buried on top of him. They share the same gravestone. So that's why he is below. He died first.



Dossereana says...


Oh okay thanks for the explanation.
Haha your child sounds like shes making your days ever so joy full. :)
also I wasn't sure if this was realistic or not that they both where dead so I didn't say it in the review, but I'm really sorry they are. <33



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Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:36 am
Navita wrote a review...



I like this poem, but found it difficult to read. Both because it's written in small text, and because it's all crammed together. Definitely space it out nicely. The feeling is evident, and with some tweaking here and there, a bit of literary refinement to avoid unneeded phrases and to perfect the ones that matter most, I think you will have something to be very proud of indeed. It is powerful and it is consuming, and you've captured the essence of the character well.




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Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:51 pm
xxbwiismexx wrote a review...



You can feel the characters sadness through the words, but you can also feel her joy in her memories. Theres a sense in your words of something ending, as well as something else beginning.
It's really good you did a nice job PM me if you write anything more.
~ Bri




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Tue Apr 06, 2010 8:27 pm
Flower~Child says...



I really like this poem. I was going to comment earlier, but I had to go to school. There isn't anything that I don't like about it really.

Keep Writing

-Flower-




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Tue Apr 06, 2010 3:48 pm
perdido wrote a review...



Snoink, your greatest ally while revising this will be condensation. There are so many unnecessary words, as a reader it was pretty hard on me. It'll be a lot stronger if you cut away the excess.

for example when you say "mountain ridges all over her hands." You should just say "mountain ridges." We've established that you are describing her hands already.

I love the internal rhyme in the first line of the penultimate stanza: I wish there were more of that.

I'd also change the ending, you should always end on the strongest stanza, but it was just... mehhh.

So: condensation.




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Tue Apr 06, 2010 3:39 pm
Hannah wrote a review...



Hi, Snoink! ^_^

Something that I think needs to be done in this poem is a revisitation of the first lines.

I can't stop my fingers from trembling.
Hold them straight, flat, in front of my face
and watch them dance out of rhythm.


They hang there at the beginning and if we read through this poem once, we forget them, because none of the rest of the poem is about this idea. Maybe in another poem, then, it would be okay to just cut these, but I think that they bring a beautiful dimension to the poem that shouldn't be forgotten. Try to work it back in closer to the end or keep in woven in throughout, like a thesis.

curl her cold hands into my own
and press it deep within my heart


Just to pick something out, I don't know why you said press 'it', when you're talking about many things here. If you had written something else, perhaps described these many things as something singular, that's an interesting thought and would allow you to keep 'it', but right now it's just incorrect.

When the doctors talked of
taking her feet, I blinked and when she lay
strapped, her blood rushing through machines,
I hid away.


I love the first part of this phrase more than the second. I love the simplicity of blinking, but hiding away seems more complicated. Perhaps 'I kept my eyes closed' or 'I closed my eyes', which is reminiscent of how little kids hide themselves because they aren't aware of another's perspective. It's simple to match blinking. Just a suggestion.

To me, she was my future and I could see my reflection
in her rosy cheeks and wrinkled face full of laughter.
Even our names matched, and when she called my name,
her eyes turned tender and she would squeeze my hand
softly. For that short second, I could feel her fingers
warming up in mine...


The second part of this phrase is really the only place in this poem that I connect. The idea of her eyes turning tender and her fingers growing warm for a bit make me feel that tenderness and want to keep it, but I didn't have enough time to really feel that connection before you ended the poem. I think the pacing is off, but if it were to be fixed and the ending shortened and perhaps described less pastorally, it would make a good piece.

PM me if you have any questions!

-Hannah-




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Tue Apr 06, 2010 3:07 pm
Elinor wrote a review...



Hey Snoink!

This was nice, and sad too. You did a real good job of conveying the emotion that this piece centered around.

However, I will say that I think it felt too much like a story divided into stanzas. What I mean by that is that you don't have a set rhythm, and the lines drag on for a bit too long and you go into overwhelming detail. Take out the stanzas, and with a little editing, you've got a basic prose story.

If you that you'll be a lot freer to expand into the detail that this poem wants to go for.

-Elinor





Who's the more foolish, the fool, or the fool who follows him?
— Obi-Wan Kenobi