I love this poem as it acutely describes the work we do as midwives.
These are my hands
Through these hands I have come to see the world.
These hands have measured the growth of life
and documented the stalling of time.
They guide my ears to places where I hear
The watch-like beat of tiny hearts.
My hands have felt the hard bony framework of passages
and the softness of muscles
Which will bulge like petals of a rose.
My hands have opened windows to the energy
Of the souls of those I have touched.
They have felt the frigid rigidity
Of steel instruments and the softness of a friend.
There are stories in these hands,
read from the pages of the work of women.
With my hands I felt the power
Of the strength it takes to grow
and release a new spirit.
My hands were born with the knowing of touch.
The journey has added the how and when
and the time to ask for help.
Teaching hand engulfed mine
until they were ready to fly.
My hands are joined in a circle which is
Unbroken through time.
Sometimes my hands do nothing.
Their most important work
will be still with fingers laced
The “art of doing nothing” has been passed
from one generation to the next.
Mine have been taught by some of the most powerful hands
to watch and wait.
This is perhaps the hardest for
hands born to touch.
If I have nothing else to give to you, let me
teach you how to see with your hands.
How to open the windows of life, and close
the door softly when it is time.
In the darkness
It is your hands that will light the way.
These are my hands.
These are the hands of a midwife.