My Hands, a Story

By M. Stone

I hesitate to show you
my desiccated hands. 

I no longer fret
over contaminated doorknobs
or microbes festering on dollar bills

but my skin will never recover
from all the years I washed it raw
with scalding water, with bleach
or rubbing alcohol.

They say you can tell a woman’s age
by the state of her hands.

Well look at mine then:
see their weathered sheen,
crepe paper draped over bone.


M. Stone is a bookworm, birdwatcher, and stargazer who writes poetry while living in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in San Pedro River Review, SOFTBLOW, Calamus Journal, and numerous other print and online journals. She can be reached at