Kalima

Wrinkled Hands

Dedicated to my grandmother.

These hands, these wrinkled hands,

They tell a story.

A story of a young girl, growing up in the harsh Russian countryside,

Of handmade felt boots & warm borsch,

Of childish dreams and fun with friends,

Of long, dangerous journeys to school in the snow.

——

These hands, these wrinkled hands,

They tell a story.

A story of fear, loneliness and the sound of loud bombs tearing through a country at war. 

Of bravery & resourcefulness,

Of escape from danger into the unknown,

Of a long, treacherous journey across a war-torn continent.

—-

These hands, these wrinkled hands,

They tell a story. 

A story of new beginnings, a new life, a new home.

A new land, a new language, a new way of life.

A new marriage, a new family, a new job.

All the old things lost in the past. 

A new journey, with true love by her side & a future full of hope & happiness.

—-

These hands, these wrinkled hands,

They tell a story.

Of a mother, a wife, a factory worker,

Working to build a safe home for her family,

All the while longing for the home she once knew,

Onto the next stage of the journey through life.

These hands, these wrinkled hands,

They tell a story.

Of a woman holding her grandchildren for the first time,

Watching them grow up, while fighting the feeling that she is getting old.

Of pink lipstick and hairspray, ready to take them into town to get ice cream,

Of the bus journey home to a traditional Russian dinner. 

These hands, these wrinkled hands,

They tell a story.

Of a loving grandmother sneaking money into her grandchildren’s hands when their parents aren’t looking.

Of piles of Easter eggs & other sweet treats,

Of watermelon & the lessons on how to pick a good one,

Of good times.

Of a journey reaching its final stages.

These hands, these wrinkled hands,

They tell a story.

Of heartbreak and the loss of her one true love. 

Of loneliness & old age.

Of aches and pains & forgetfulness.

Of hospital stays and medication,

Of a loving daughter, taking care of her mother, the roles now reversed.

Of family, rallying together to bring moments of joy at the end of the journey.

These hands, these wrinkled hands,

They tell a story.

So many stories.

I will never forget those wrinkled hands.

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