They gave me the gift of time, those hands.
Turning over fossils, reading millennia like braille.
Pointing out constellations and meteors.
Slowly making smashed treasures whole again
with painstaking stillness.
I watched them as a boy, in awe of their size.
Gripping the steering wheel, driving us to mountains. Oceans.
Leathery. Big, turgid veins like bouncy-castle ribs.
Always busy, winding sweet peas around garden canes,
Sewing intricate stitches, busy-fingered and as intent
on his target as a Wellington bombardier.
Holding books by lamplight, with the swift flick
of a page. Never still. Ever seeking
to make things Ship-Shape
and Bristol fashion.
Copyright Tom Tide 2017