Lina Patton

Mother’s Hands

I would pinch the top of her hand
and then mine
quickly, watch her skin drift
back to place while mine

I’d poke and press the purple
vein that stood the highest,
the one below the third knuckle
on her left, say,
Ew, Mom,
feel it slide back and forth
as I wiggled it hard
against her bone.

And later, when my fingers
grew longer and thinner,
my palms fuller,
we’d be sitting on the plane
bored above the ground
or on the couch with bodies
still and slowed from
the Minnesota cold falling
everywhere outside,

and I’d hold onto her wrist,
press her hand into mine,
watch the way our webs
matched up,
our pinkies curved and
crease lines hit,

then out of habit,
I’d pinch her skin again,
plucked and pulled between my fingers,
not want to watch it fall.


Lina Patton is a recent graduate of George Mason’s MFA program, where she was awarded the Thesis Fellowship in Fiction and served as fiction editor of the literary journal, Phoebe. Her work has appeared in Five Quarterly, 94 Creations, and received an honorable mention from Glimmer Train. She is currently working on a novel.

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