If I’d words for the texture of his hands,

Rough would do, as would worn, weather’d or dry.

My father’s lives etched along bold fingers,

Dusked palms, and creased knuckles cracked with the cry

Of a guilty murderer’s confession.

When he revealed he’d killed a man, my mind,

Submerged with selfish eighteen year-old woes,

Came up for air, put childish things behind.

His hand’s weary history was complex.

Bald assumptions of labor and heavy toil,

Ground into hands that once clapped tight my own

Naïve paws, made way for turbulent coil.

That bleak day I ceased taking for granted

Hand’s records mired with germs of truth slanted.