High on my office shelf
sits a sculpture done in love
Albrecht Durer’s Betende Hande
a labor of love by a brother
for his brother who loved
Just this evening I came in
weary from a day of labor
hands smudged with grease and dirt
from a day of farming
Warm water flooded my cold hands
as I rubbed and soaped them slowly
rinsed, I dried them, and I paused,
I have my grandpa’s hands!
Not so surprising, really,
as fifty years of farming
have ever shaped and molded
young boy hands to older farmer
Tanned, marked with scars,
big strong hands from exercise
decades shaped and strengthened
Happy to have
all my fingers!
The bones grown bigger
they say that happens
my grip grown stronger
I can pull a wrench, lift a boulder,
shape and cut metal
My sister says
I AM grandpa Warfel
I’ve become him!
Well, I like that!
He was my hero,
my daddy sub
First memory is
sittin on his lap, driving a little tractor
(big then, small now!)
He and I had lots of races
he could run quite fast
(though now I know, only yards)
together we worked, side by side,
he coached me all along
We fed cows and milked them,
pulled weeds and built fences
Painted barns and fence post tops
Pleated rope from baling twine
Sat side by side in church
over on the far north side
Big Ben ticking away an hour
We chowed down grandma’s cooking
ate fresh veggies from the garden
butchered cows and pigs and chickens
Oh, a thousand, ten thousand things!
And now I have my grandpa’s hands!
Selah, Lin  10/2012
Grandpa in the mirror, age 71
Alfred Warfel, 1884-1954
Profile on the book cover…Grandpa looks like his Grandpa!