When You Thought I Wasn't Looking

Image of Long Story Short Award - 2022
Image of Poetry
I saw your hands.
After working all day,
you came home
and chopped past sundown.

Bloodied and calloused
the scars on your palms
spoke stories of love,
the next morning
on the way to school
they encased my own small hand,
left unblemished at your insistence,
with gentle fingers.

Your love in the bite of the ax
night after bitter night,
you'd wear yourself raw.
Sacrifices that never went unnoticed,
offers to help fell on deaf ears.

But as I sit by the roaring fire
my heart lies elsewhere,
outside in the cold and wind
it is held in a single chapped hand.