Kimalisa Kaczinski



I think of the journey
my hands have been on and I am
pleased. Stroking my own belly
while my son hiccupped inside
me. My hands that stroke this face
of the man I love, and the way
his eyes light into mine. I think of the poems
these hands have written, poems of loss
and forgiveness, trying to understand
a bit of this world and my place in it.
I think of my hands and how they used
to remind me of my grandmother and her age,
I so wanted that for myself and never thought
it was possible. But here I am, at the dear age
of 51, older than I thought I would make it, and again,
I am pleased.

I remember swimming for the first time,
sure the weight of the water would betray me, but my hands,
oh, my hands, they held me up and I made it
to the edge of the pool. I think of the way that my hands
reached to my Cindy, my best friend when we shared
the death of Riley. We held on tight, and have yet
to let go. I’ve brushed my own bangs away from my face
and been tender. I’ve tied my shoes and made potato soup, carefully
peeling each potato, my hands stirring and being cautious
of being burned. This arthritis that has stricken me, taking away
two fingers and a thumb, the cruelty of a disease inherited.
These hands reach across time, sure of their journey, a fine cross
placed on my forehead as I was confirmed, my hands folded
in prayer. A lifetime of looking ahead is yet to come with these
hands, and what else could I say but that I am pleased.



Kimalisa Kaczinski lives in Cheney, WA with her partner, the songwriter and poet, Dwayne St. Romain. Her work has appeared in many fine journals. Kimalisa’s  poems are deeply inspired by that which she finds in nature.