Their Hands Tell A Story

The air surrounding the clinic is filled with sounds in the predawn hours: the rush of the surf, the drone of the generator and the call of a rooster in the near distance.

As the clinic day begins, many of the Haitians are elderly. I take each person’s hand to check a pulse. I see calluses and deep lines. I think of all the labor these hands have known.

Later in the day, we have more infants and children. As I take their hands, I feel their softness. I see an infant touch her mother’s face. I wonder for how many years these hands will hold a school book.

As the clinic day draws to a close, I realize the soft hands will someday be hardened by labor, and the callused hands once gently touched a mother’s face.

Matthew Lerch