By Edith E. Anderson
I looked at your hands as you peacefully lay
On your beautiful bed of chiffon;
And I could not but wish that my own were as fair,
When my humble mission is done.
Though twisted and gnarled and shriveled from pain,
To me, they were beautiful still:
Oh, fortunate hands, hands blessed to serve
The mandates of love’s sweet will.
To be raised in defense of the right and the weak,
To smooth away anger and pain,
To labor untiringly, not for yourself
But ever for others’ gain.
My heart wells with gratitude just to have felt
The kindness of their caress.
Those hands that were ready to help those in need,
So eager to succor and bless.
I heard those around me with sadness exclaim,
“How peaceful they look, at rest;”
But your spirit so smilingly seemed to assure
They continue the work they love best.
On history’s pages, some valorous deeds
Have accosted attention and praise;
And some by engraving the human heart
Transmit them to future days.