I saw you hide your hands in line,
Behind that lady fair,
I noticed too, hers soft and white-
Immaculate from care.
But Ma, I say, it’s no disgrace
To have workin’ hands like you,
And had she lived the life you have,
She’d have hands just like it too.
But her hands have never hauled in wood,
Or worked in God’s good earth.
They’ve never felt the bitter cold,
Or chopped ice for waitin’ stock,
They’ve never doctored sick ones,
Or dressed a horse’s hock.
They’ve never pulled a hip-locked calf,
Or packed water to the barn.
They’ve probably never patched blue jeans,
Or had worn ol’socks to darn.
They’ve never touched a young’n,
Or caressed a fevered head,
With hands so gently folded,
All night beside his bed.
They’ve never scrubbed a kitchen floor,
Or done dishes every day.
They’ve never guided with those hands,
A child who’s lost the way.
They’ve never made a Christmas gift,
Shaped by a lovin’hand.
They’ve never peeled apples,
Nor vegetables they’ve canned.
They’ve never worn a blister,
Or had calluses to show,
For all they’ve done for others,
And the kindnesses I know.
So you see, my dearest Mama-
Yours are hands of love.
And I bet the Lord will notice
When he greets you from above.