Michelle Sharkey

Pandemic Hands

Moments between hands
Lockets of memories
Lesson of Life
Palm reading in real time

Pandemic hands
Hands in a flurry, hurried hands
A slaughter of safety, the practice of sorrow
Grieving hands, losses that slipped right through our fingers

Small hands, typing away for online classes
Holding a cap and gown for a graduation
That is cancelled or postponed
Can life be postponed while our hands have no rest?

Gloved Hands, a doctor’s search for a cure
Gardener’s hands, deep in the soil of a Victory Garden
Nurse hands, holding patients’ to tame their fear
Entangled fingers comfort the weary

Worn and exhausted
Washing hands
As worry drains down into ground
Taken by the Earth, filtered

I hold in my hands a gift
Small and symbolic to celebrate the birthday of my love
Happy just to be here another year,
Another day, another minute…together

My husband’s hands full of cuts
Extra hours of labor
To make up for our losses
Protective with love

Strong hands
Warm, heroic and surrounding me
When we are down
Hands have power in a slight squeeze

Pandemic hands
Hands of volunteers
Hands of helpers
Teams of hands

Hands like Life’s Breath
Hands that build together
With mine, hands intertwined
Love Spreads Faster than Pandemics

Michelle won an out-of-county Honorable Mention.. She is featured in our first official book publication, In the Quarantined Room: Reflections on the COVID-19 Experience in Indian River County, FL 2020. To find out more about the book and to purchase a copy, click here.

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