her own hands

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She remembers the feel of her own hands on her scalp, under the water. The luxury of that reach, her fingers in her hair, the suds and the nails, just how she liked it.

She remembers the feel of grass on her toes – briefly – then the air under a lifted foot, then the grass again, soft, on solid ground.

She remembers being the one who could read the signs first as they drove. “It says two more miles,” she’d say, before anyone else had even made out the name of the town.

She remembers running out for some ice cream, her favorite kind, on a whim.

She remembers sitting, then standing to look at a bird outside, then sitting again, all so easy, just a moment in a day.

She remembers looking down at her daughter’s face, smiling, with the first spring carrots still dripping with dirt.

Now she looks up when her daughter comes in.

Now the carrots come precooked all year long.

Now she has someone else’s hands in her hair. She has shoes that keep her balanced, eyes that squint. Now she listens more than she reads.

Now she lives the rhythm of visitors coming, visitors going, solitude, sleep.

Now she has soup delivered, music she chooses, a cupboard of secrets she opens at night.

Now she has hands on her neck that soothe her pain, as she debates the TV on opinions of the day.

Now her children stop in on their way to the store, quickly, just to say hello, to see if she needs anything. Anything at all.

Now she has memories and laughter and wishes and time.

Now she has a window, with a birdhouse, and roses, and the ever-changing sky.

Now, as always, the ever-changing sky.

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