My father’s hands are brown.
Brown, like old leather books.
Brown and tanned by the Spanish sun.
Hands that taught me to write my name
in a kitchen glowing golden with dawn.
Hands that held mine when we crossed the street.
Tender hands that showed me how to
handle a camera, fasten a lure, build a snowman, ride a bike.
Sturdy, strong, silent hands.
Hands that know when to let go and when to hold on.
Brown hands with the experience of an old ball-glove,
and the grace of a violin.
My gentle instructors.
Steady hands sharing the greatest gifts ever given,
in the first and best classroom
I’ve ever known.