Sunday 8 September 2019


by Mary McCarthy

Your hands rest in mine 
Light and still warm 
Though blue nails insist 
We don’t have long 
All your attention on the fight 
For breath 
Each one a prize 
Won harder than the last 
Your hands so soft and light 
Knobbed and twisted 
And not much use 
Done after years 
Of endless work 
Resting, not rewarded 
Somehow reminding me 
Of the newborn’s first 
Blind movements 
The searching mouth 
The hands like starfish 
Opening wide 

* * * * *

Mary McCarthy has always been a writer but spent most of her working life as a Registered Nurse. Her work has appeared in many print and online journals, including Third Wednesday, Earth's Daughters, the Ekphrastic Review, and Verse Virtual. Her electronic chapbook, Things I Was Told Not to Think About, is available as a free download from Praxis magazine.


  1. So beautiful....brought me back to my last moments with my mom! Your words capture truth!