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For Yupik Elders Irene and Vernon Evan 

I love hands that are strong

That grip the world

With firm presence


Hands

That know the feel of tools

With smooth strokes

Do common work

And make it come alive


Blistered, coarse, rough hands

Grimy, greasy, creased hands

That wash up clean

With soap and water

And the knowledge

Of something done well


I love hands that are strong

That cradle the world

With gentleness


Hands

I can trust

To hold what's real

Carry the water

>From the well

With never a splash or spill


Patient, purposeful, sure hands

Slender, sinuous, enduring hands

That turn upward

With openness

And the faith

That founds the world


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Robin Hodson

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