My hands are old.
Today they are weathered and leathered and tired and sore.
Most days, I never notice my hands.
I see my face, the skin tanned or pale or blemished or smooth.
I scan my chin, my breasts, my belly, my legs, my feet,
looking for an indication that time is passing more quickly than I am prepared for.

I don’t see it.
I see time all over my body, but I don’t mind because it feels earned, it looks right.

But these hands, the ones that I use to push back my hair and look at my neck,
that I slide across a tensed leg muscle looking for signs of weakening (none that I notice),
that I clasp behind my back, ensuring that age has not diminished flexibility, regardless of how often I don’t stretch (but I’ll start doing it again on a regular basis, one day when I love myself enough to make the time).

These hands that have caught,
have thrown,
have lifted and let go,
have clapped so hard the sting turned them red,
have high fived and celebrated success,
have gripped and massaged and touched with affection,
been balled into fists that didn’t punch,
played music that made me cry
and almost been ripped apart only to be saved by the miracle of another set of hands with skills beyond their own.
These hands that type these words my brain dictates, ever patient, hovering over these letters, the space bar, the backspace button.

Never to judge, only to perform.
When did they get old?

The lines that are not on my face are on my hands.
The wrinkles and creases and indicators of use and age and time are there.
They’ll touch and they’ll feel and they’ll hold and they’ll hurt
and they’ll continue.
My hands have borne the brunt of my experience.

They are, quite possibly, the most beautiful part of the whole of me.