small hands

small hands

Smokestacks of oak, hickory and birch
lurch in the balance of sleet and snow
on a confused Sunday in early May
as my woods fill up with snow.
It’s a snowy evening
tucked away on this Highland Park cul de sac
hugging Lake Michigan’s shore
as the gales of this Spring day
recall the final waves
sweeping over the bow
of the Edmund Fitzgerald
on a cold November gale long ago.
Having weathered many storms
we walk…
wandering down Sheridan Road
as this knowing snow envelops us
clinging to that other walk
taken a lifetime ago.
We were frozen
stumbling and bumbling
your hand on my thigh
my leg on yours
holding tight
as we hurled down that hillside
on a rustic red slide
not knowing we would have this moment
to savor for so many walks to come
before full time work and grad school
one, two, then three
bundles of infinite intensity.
Birthdays, graduations, proms
and that first house we called home,
rearing three daughters
tornados of emotion…
and then from the chaos came the calm
as I cupped my calloused palm
on a tiny granddaughter’s hand.


Mark Hammerschick writes poetry and fiction. He holds a BA in English from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and a BS and MBA. He is a lifelong resident of the Chicago area and currently lives on the north shore, his professional career has been in digital strategy and online consulting. His current work will be published in The Metaworker, Vext Magazine, Breadcrumbs Magazine, Meat for Tea: The Valley Review, Lucky Jefferson, The Fictional Café, Wingless Dreamer, HP 2020 Poetry Challenge, Trolley Magazine, Blood and Thunder: Musings on the Art of Medicine and The Write Launch, Scarlet Leaf Review, North Dakota QuarterlyThe Showbear Family Circus, Carcinogenic Poetry, The Toasted Cheese Literary Journal, Change Seven, Panoplyzine, Borrowed Solace, Waxing and Waning, The Poetic Bond, Willowdown Books, Penultimate Peanut, La Merle Poetry Journal, Muse Pie Press, Shot Glass Journal, The Rockvale Review, Intima Journal and Oregon Poetry Association.

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