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Calloused Hands


I was excited to publish my first narrative poem and read it at the Palos Verdes Community Library event, thanks to their WriMo Program.


Calloused Hands

I used to want soft hands, but I wasn’t born that way Porcelain hands, made for ease and admiration Ones that did not have to dig up weeds to see a path forward. Instead of accepting the hand I was dealt, I put gloves on to hide the blemishes Highlighting the pretty and ignoring the messy Believing being loved came from being presentable. My worn hands felt shameful. I hid those things that cut and scarred in the closet Stuffing my feelings until nothing fit. Sobs broke the blinders Shattering the façade and allowing me to be seen. In the breaking, Grace crept in through the cracks. At first, I cried harder. I thought I would drown. But I wasn’t alone— Grace held my battered hands in His. My weathered hands were beautiful Revealing a life that did not come easy. Grace was there all along, waiting for me to see the gifts of my imperfections. When I waved goodbye to pretending, Grace let me see my flaws without being defined by them Giving them a voice separate from me so I could heal. Grace was a friend I could not shake— Helping me embrace myself because perfection was never the goal. Showing me the way was through the pain, not around it. Grace called me to be His hands and feet. Showing me how to use my sadness instead of soaking in it. To offer my hand to the calloused palms of others. Grace is a gentle hand that’s easy to hold. It is not soft. It is bruised and battered from saving us. It holds the scars of our names on its palms. Grace is with us in the ditch of desperation Holding our hand and waiting to move forward together. I want helpful hands of grace, calloused from the fire—but not stopped by it. Hands unafraid to show their flaws. Calloused hands that overcome, Brave enough to share the hope they have found.

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