Daleen Enslinstrydom

(25-02-1967 / Springs, South Africa)

The Hands Of A Farmer


I have known those hands all of my life
and many times I have looked at those hands,
at big rough hands that worked the fields
and calluses in their palms tell a own story
and the fingers are big
and when they grab they hold on.

Those are very strong hands
but they are gentle when they touch the family.
Those hands sowed the wheat
and harvested the sheaves,
those hands planted maize
and brought home the first ripe corn.

Those hands brought life,
helped the cow that struggled during birth,
those hands carried the lambs
to a place of shelter from the cold,
those hands shot the lynx
to keep the farm animals safe
and during the day they guarded against the falcons
that tried to snatch up the chickens.

Those hands cultivated the soil
and planted vegetables for the whole family,
those hands only killed the sheep
when it was really necessary
and only took what was really needed.

Those hands carried our dog Shela
to the grave that was dug with them
and held her until she died.

Those hands took mine
to teach me how to pray
and they are the hands
that holds my mother’s hands until today
and those hands never left the hands of God
in whose hands their strength lies.

Submitted: Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Edited: Tuesday, April 23, 2013

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