Soft yet hard

cruel yet kind

gripping with intensity

yet anointing with sorrow.

Large and well formed

protected by bracers

or gauntlets

silver or brass

by a myriad of scars

or scarves.

Tapered and long

strong and careworn



cold harsh unforgiving

yet tender

capable of holding life

and taking it

of discharging judgment

and winning it.

Hands that have known strife

miles of grief

yards of blood.

Tools of war

bringers of peace

meting out pain

with one flick of the wrist

or pressed to lips in farewell.

Palms up in supplication

or pressed feverishly against death

fingers accusing

or entreating desire.

Dangerous deceitful


gripping life tenuously

demanding supple pained.

Skin stretched tightly

over muscle and bone

each nick stain break

a masterpiece of a life

well spent.

© ArdentTly


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