Marga’s Hands

Marga’s Hands by Sheryl McFarlane

Marga’s hands are a roadmap of highways
that trace 85 years
leading  from Finland
To South Africa to Saskatoon and finally
landing here, on her beloved island.

Her hands have
caressed a cherished husband
swaddled sons and cradled grandchildren.

Before and since her hands have held a thousand books
that have entertained, informed and challenged,
whispering their truths late at night while others sleep

But now Marga’s hands lack the strength to turn the wheels of her chair.
Sometimes they cannot be relied on to
hold a drink to her lips
turn the pages of  her book.

You might think that Marga’s hands are a roadmap of highways
that lead only to the indignity of
institutional time-tables,
of loneliness and
arthritic pain

But when we sit on the balcony
In the sunshine
and a breeze rustles through the trees
I read to her,
a smile plays across her mouth
her hands squeeze mine and
I know that Marga has not yet
finished traveling.