Hand It Down

This is a nonfiction free write that I did during a class a while back.

I come from a lineage of hard hands, calloused from sharecropping, wood chopping, and moving steel billets into hellish furnaces. But my hands are soft. Other than the slightly calloused left fingertips from guitar playing, my hands remain largely unmarked. Slight dry cracks crease the back of my hands—some created by excessive hand washing, some created by the dry, odorless air. But still, my hands are soft, and I am not ashamed. Generations of familial hard hands worked for this generation, my generation, to have soft hands. They toiled in the hopes that one day someone in our family would be able to keep the soft hands of an infant and carry them into adulthood. I dream that future hands carrying some of my blood in their veins will be soft and will bear only marks of choice instead of scars of necessity.

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