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Jedwab (Healing Hands)

This is dedicated to Dr. Nancy A. Lee, MD, a caring and wonderful doctor who deserves to have a poem and then some :) She is the great healing hand I knew when I needed it.


Jedwab is the Polish word for “silk.”

An elderly Polish lady who spoke very little English

Was in a Nursing home.

She had dementia

It looked as if her passing was imminent.

She had been in a coma

But her eyes opened.

She stroked the hand of the young lady who was her caretaker

As well as that of the burly orderly who entered the room.

She reached out because she wanted to touch another human hand.

As she stroked their hands, she smiled

And said Jedwab, Jedwab.

Silk. Silk.

Caring hands, regardless of how rough they may be--

Calloused and cracked

Or soft with sweet-smelling lotion

Or thick. meaty, and heavy like a leg of lamb

Or perhaps aged and wrinkled, thin as parchment,

Almost translucent with streaks of blue

Like an exotic marble…

Or the healing hand can be black, brown, yellow or white

Or some charming color like my Mediterranean mixture of all of the above.

But it isn’t the description that matters

It is the caring that goes into the hands.

If you believe in God,he works through those hands.

If you don’t believe in God

Just stop and see the beauty of those hands.

All healing hands, all caring hands

All kindly hands…

Are as soothing as the touch of silk.

Jedwab

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