By Peggy Trojan                                                                                                                                   


I held my father’s hands
while he died.
Extra-large-glove-sized hands.
By the thumb, wide faded reminder
of the axe at seventeen.
Crooked finger, broken by the mower.
Myriad silver scars.
Calluses softened now.
Fingers that routinely hit
two computer keys,
drummed the table when impatient,
or bored.
Knuckles aged bony,
veins dark and visible.
At ninety-eight, the vellum skin
Hands that skinned deer, built houses,
crimped pie crust. 

We waited,
his firm grasp warm in mine.
When a thousand stars exploded,
he squinted hard,
and let me go.

-originally published in Verse and Vision 2012.