The Work Of These Hands

Bleeding knuckles swollen, the textures and grooves
Bent in forced praise of a bad religion
These broken nails sacrificed for obligations and industry
Which profit me nothing
Except tears and torment,
The things that mean anything
Torn from my raw grasp
My body farmed as barren as the land,
The nameless faces hovering over my shame
Children harvested and then sold,
A heartless cash crop for which
I can lay no claim
Husbands sown as seed
For the strangest crops of all , their ancestry and blood and pride Fertilizing the earth that
I must cultivate into white ruin
I kneel, palms lifted up full
Of naught but broken dreams
The void more than I can understand
My life the sum of crooked, bloody fingertips
My sorrow the work of these hands



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