My hands were slim and fine;
And all the world and I well knew
None were so soft as mine.
I looked with scorn at Mother's hands
That were no longer fair.
I didn't know that love for me
Had etched the wrinkles there.
But when my mother's hands were still
Forever, ever more,
I saw such beauty through my tears
As I'd not known before.
Now that I tend my own hearth fire,
I pray, when my work's done,
My hands will look like Mother's did
When I was twenty-one.
-- Ethel Boehm Foth, 1912-2000