Show Him Your Hands
In one poor room that was all their store a Mother lay on her bed.
Her seven children around her, and calling the eldest she said, “I’m going to leave you Mary, you’re nearly fourteen you know and you must be a good girl, and make me easy to go”
“You can’t depend much on father, but just be patient my child and keep the children out of his way whenever he comes home wild”.
“And keep the house as well as you can, and little daughter think, he didn’t used to be so, remember it’s all the drink”.
The weeping daughter promised as faithfully as she might, she cooked and minded, and kept things tidy and bright.
And when the father came home drunk the children were sent to bed, Mary waited alone and took the beating in their stead.
The little chubby fingers lost their childish softness and grace, toughened and chapped, calloused.
The rosy childish face grew thin and haggard and anxious, carefree, tired and old as on those slender shoulders the burdens of life were rolled.
So when the heated season burned pitiless overhead and up from the filth of the noisy street the fatal fever spread.
And work and wait and drunken blows had weakened the tender frame into the squalid room once more the restful shadow came.
And Mary sent for the playmate who lived just over the way and said “The Charity Doctor has been here, Katie, today”.
“He says i’ll never be better, the fever has been so bad and if it wasn’t for one thing i’m sure id just be glad”.
“It ain’t about the children, I’ve kept my promise good and Mother will know I stayed with them as long as ever I could”.
“But you know how its been Katie, I’ve had much to do. I couldn’t mind the children and go to preaching too”.
“I’ve been so tired late at night I couldn’t think to pray and now when I see the Lord Jesus whatever am I to say”? Katie the little comforter in her sweet and caring voice said to her friend, “Mary just show him your hands.”
“Show Him Your Hands” was written in Weakley County, TN thought to have been during the Yellow Fever epidemic. Author is unknown, the poem was discovered by David Tuck of Tucked Away Treasures in Martin, who rescued it from being lost forever.
Robert and Loretta Reynolds – Dresden, TN 731 819 0376