Sometimes I look at my hands
old friends
and see my mother
or a stranger
mute beings
somehow attached to me
blindly in my service
poor things.

I study them in wonder
like something you’d see in a museum
safely behind glass.
Skin loose and crepey now
but still the palm spread wide–
strength and competence.
And no matter how faithfully
they’ve served me
part of me knows
their warranty will expire.

And then I see them
with something like love
as you’d look at your aging dog
limping with that bad hip
that last visit to the vet
is coming soon.