Hands that fed and hurt

You can never spit on the hands that feed you. Such a famous saying in her community. These hands calloused and coarse toiled through childhood hunger to find food. The constant need to to use the hand to labour in the field all day long, since age five, was all Senje knew. Every day her mother would hand in a cup of porridge that would burn her hand with the welcome morning routine. She would quickly toss the bowl between her palms as she drunk the welcome breakfast. She would look at her mother to see what else was in her hand. Nothing.

woman doing shh hand gesture
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Having finished her breakfast she hands in her bowl and collects a handful of her clothes as she runs off to the field with her plow. Today the farm owner had said he would reward the person who dug the most. She prepared her hands for the task ahead. They will be giving her a reward.They were her only way of survival for now. She dug her way to her reward her plow, which she had owned for two months now, never failing her hands. She stops to wipe the seat off her brow. She looks at her hands and imagines them soft and glistering with red painted nails like the ladies she see in magazines. How divine! Hers stared at her in dirt and blisters begging for break. A break she got.

Fifteen years later when she got married to a man whose hands would not leave her body. Everyday was anew sore a new blow. Those hands beat her so much that she no longer felt pain. Why did he have to do this to her? was she not the one who toiled their lands everyday, washed and cooked? He never saw it that way. He never will. She had no choice as he provided for her and her large family. She could never leave his hands.Those hands fed her. She would never spit on them. She had no choice. No one would listen to her.

One thought on “Hands that fed and hurt

  1. Powerful and sad…a conundrum and a paradox of those beating and feeding hands, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

    Like

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