Chole Poems

August 20, 2009

Hi Chole’s Quilt,  These are some poems that I wrote about Chole shortly after she died.  I first gave them to Howard Lee, and he has asked me to post them.  Love, Mary-Allen

Chole’s Hands

Chole died.

Chole’s beautiful hands

Are ash and bone.

Who saw her hands

Was struck

With their grace and beauty

Smooth, long, mocha fingers

Touching, gesturing

Teaching touch

For seventeen years


I see her in the houses

Small or great

The houses of suffering

Of fear and fatigue

And disappointment

Teaching mothers,

Grandmothers, sisters

Bringing the loving touch

Of life

To the damaged children

To the children without eyes

To the ones who couldn’t hear

Or maybe walk

Or who couldn’t talk

Or couldn’t grow

In body or mind


But they could feel

All of them could feel

Chole’s hands

Her warm, confident hands

Smoothing tense muscles

Finding the places

Where the lonely skin

Longed for touch

Longed for holding

Longed for joy

And surcease of pain


The Babies


I couldn’t see

And you touched me

On my temples


So I wouldn’t be afraid


I couldn’t hear

So you touched me on my hands


So I knew you were there


I couldn’t walk

So you lifted me up

In your hands


So I could see


I couldn’t move

So you touched me

With your smooth hands


So I could be free


I couldn’t talk

So you touched me

On my feet


So I could move


I was ugly

So you touched me

All over my body


So I could learn love


Your hands  are beautiful

Like the morning dove

Feathers, graceful and strong

And just fitting


Your hands see and hear

And move and touch

And love

So I can live


Your hands live on me

I carry your touch

I give your touch

Through my sight, my ears,

My feeling

Through whatever I have

I give it everywhere


And it spreads

Its vast wings

Over the earth

Touching everyone.


3 Responses to “Chole Poems”

  1. jacksoi Says:


    I have spent a lot of time thinking about my mom this week as her birthday approaches. Your poem brought back some beautiful memories.

    Thank you,


  2. Mom’s hands were elegant. Even when I was a little kid, I used to enjoy watching her hands.

    As the rest of her body was shutting down, her hands remained soft and beautiful. It’s nice to know that I was not the only one who noticed.

  3. Linda Haymond Says:

    Thank you, Mary-Allen. Her essence stated simply and clearly.

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