“My Fathers Hands”

Walking these north west highland hills of Scotland

A mist filled forest on cliffs edge above

Deep blue, black waters below


Some thirty paces off to my right

Eyes coming to rest

On an old stone cottage… no roof


An open doorway

The only discernable feature

Stands like an ancient stone dolman


A threshold invitation

From this place and time

Into another

Walking through

I sit and wait

Nothing… nothing


I stare at the backs of my hands

The mist

Settling in against my skin


Wet, freckles, emerging age spots

My father’s hands!

I see my father’s hands


Tracing the story lines

In these old hands

My father’s hands


Four years old lying on a cot

The dark belly of an old shrimp boat

Somewhere in the Atlantic

Off the Georgia coastline


I reach out my right hand

Into the dark night

Clasping around mine

I feel my father’s hand


No words are spoken

In that moment

All I need to hear

Is said by my fathers hand



I faked left

Moving right along the baseline

My ankle rolling right as well




Swollen, painful

Wrapping warmth and words around my ankle

“If I could carry this pain for you, I would”

My father’s hands



My hands now holding his,

Breath slipping away

Voice barley audible


A poem read aloud

“Should You Go First”

My mothers voice


Last breath

Warm body turning cold

Spirit ascending

Holding my fathers hand



Push now!

The midwife says


Head emerging

Eyes looking up

Into mine


My hands

Cradling my daughter’s head

Welcoming her into life



Mist rising around me now

Staring at my moistened hands

In these north west highland hills of Scotland

These hands… my fathers hands


by ~Kedar S. Brown, Sept. 5, 2015

Inspired by a hike in the North West Highlands of Scotland.