My Father's Hands by Heinz Melle


My Father's Hands


When I visit my father at his home

I look at his frail and bony hands

How they tremble when he holds a cup

Or shake by using a writing pen


When I was a lad, he told me

that his hands were his working tools

That he was not very good in learning

His hands were carrying him through


He built our house for my Mom and us

With his bare hands and very little help

He swung the hammer and pulled the saw

Until deep in to the night, no pain he felt


He carved a duck out of a block of wood

With his hands, being very precise

Then he put it under the Christmas tree

For me to have a surprise


His penmanship was crisp and clear

Every letter was a piece of art

I still treasure his notes he had written

When I was a soldier stationed afar


My sister's doll had lost an arm

He fixed it with a rubber band

His rough fingers were holding the toy

As he carefully looped the ends


He showed me how to honor a deal

When you reach out to a fellow man

He told me that a man's word is sealed

With the shaking of their hands


Now that my father is old and weak

His hands have done their work

I hold his hands, give a tender squeeze

No words are needed or told


I say good-bye when I leave his room

He looks at me as I downward bend

His arm half way up in the air

And wave with his frail and bony hand


by Heinz Melle, WFSC Newsletter Coordinator

Sherwood Park Alberta