My Mother’s Hand

Poem by Carlos Alvarado

I felt her hand on the day I was born
And everyday thereafter
Her skin was soft,
As her guidance was firm.
There never was a question
Of what she wanted for me to do:
Accomplish all I wished, and wish for goodness

I may have often strayed from goodness sake
Yet the swift slap of her open hand would force the course.
Her voice, rarely at a calm tone,
Reminded me she cared
For all the things I intended to make happen;
…And age has made me proud,
But not so much to ever drift from the path she set me on.

A yellow rose, picked from her garden,
Bloomed in the grip of her hand,
Even as her warmth faded into cold.
I could not let her take the journey alone,
As much as my heart could never let go.
I reached for one last time to touch her,
But the softness of her skin told me she was at peace.
———Lord, take the hand of my mother

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