Their Hands

Their Hands
Annie Louise Twitchell
The dirt crumbles
through her thin pale fingers
staining them
a warm comforting brown
as she covers over the seeds
and lets them lie in sun-soaked
earth to swell and bud.
Sweat rolls down his arms
as he raises the axe high
and swings the shining metal head
down – force, thud – through
the ash log and splits cleanly in two
then quarters
then eighths.
Warm water running in the sink,
she stands to wash the dirt away.
He pins her between cool counter
and his own warm chest and cups
her hands in his, pouring the water
over them and washing clean,
soap suds fragrant and white,
water warm and soothing.
I love gardening. I have a little corner of the yard where nobody ever goes but me, and in this corner, I have a twenty five foot tall apple tree that grew wild and I found and adopted. The apples she gives are large, and very juicy, although when pressed their juice is somewhat weak. The best cider is from the neighbor’s apple tree, which has smaller and somewhat drier apples, mixed with the cider from my tree. Then there is a good deal of sweet, slightly tart cider. It’s amazing. 
Also with my apple tree, I have lilies of the valley, irises, Jack in the Pulpit, a lovely tangle of wild roses, dandelions, and a few other wild plants. I tried to plant violets there but this particular kind of violet, anyway, seems to thrive best in really poor soil. Because this corner of the yard was never really touched until I got around to it, years and years of leaf mold and rotten apples, along with earth worms and other creatures, have worked their magic and the soil is very rich and moist and dark. So the violets don’t grow some well. 
Anyway, I came up with the above poem last week (or maybe it was the week before) on the way home from the dentist. There’s some really cool rock formations on the way to Rangeley, and while driving along them on the S-curves, I had an image just pop into my head. Then when I got home I went and threw some glitter around and came up with the poem. Titling it was awkward and I’m still not sure what I think of it, but, I can’t come up with anything better at the moment. Probably in six months I’ll just randomly yell out sometimes in the middle of dinner and that will be the title. 
Copyright 2016 by Annie Louise Twitchell

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