Las Manos de mi Mama
By Jazmine Florencio
My whole life I have been fascinated with my mother’s hands and how they are changing over time. I decided to dedicate a poem to them.
Dry, cracked, hard. These hands, once soft, Now long for attention. Years ago they changed my diapers, Soft and moisturized, they greeted me in the mornings And tucked me in at night. My mom’s hands prepared hot coffees for years at our family’s bakery. They packed orders and stocked fridges, Her bare fingertips flipped tortillas over the scorching stovetop, and our tiny kitchen filled with that smokey aroma I grew up with. Her hands heated up my own little hands on cold New York City winter days, Squeezing them to remind me that I was safe. But now her hands no longer function like they used to. These hands, once filled with life, are drying up. Now, these hands change my little sister’s diapers. And now I am the one who warms her dry, cracked hands in mine.
This is the first poem I ever wrote. I used to dislike poetry because It made me feel vulnerable. When thinking about my mom’s hands, I started to feel comfortable writing poetry. I started writing the poem in my journal before transcribing and editing it in a Google document. I also translated the poem into Spanish.
Jazmine Florencio is a high school junior who is proud of her Mexican roots. She often writes about people who are underrepresented, including people of color and mothers. She wants to use her voice to bring attention to those who are often forgotten in the eyes of society.