This, this is me.  Not just part of me…me.  I stand before you opened handed, unprotected, and battle scared.

Look closely and see the strength I hold.  The strength of doing, of trying.  The hardness I have developed through years of repetitive tasks, but more than just that.  I have also willed them strong.  Each tear they’ve brushed aside, bridge they burned, or link they’ve forged imbuing them with an unbreakable force. 

The lines upon them map my progress, follies, and life lessens.

They have healed and soothed in times of need.

They are tools by which I live and work, but even so they fail me.

My fingers red and ragged from pulling myself up and you along with me, of holding you up and me back, of clawing forward inch by inch only to find I am grasping at straws.

They are my weakness personified.  In a million tiny tells they fidget signalling to the world my discomfort, my worries, my fear.

They bare the only physical mark of your claim on me; never ending and set with an unbreakable stone.

Yet fettered they can still rebel, even bound their strength grows, for beneath your claim these hands are still my own.  Perhaps the most honest depiction of self I allow the world to glimpse…vulnerable to pain yet strong enough to carve a path I am in part yours, but still…