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C.N.P Poetry 

  • Writer's pictureCathexis Northwest Press

Change; A Mother's Hands

By: Kelsey McNeil


Emerald spiral of spring

cracking earth,

your bloom unwinds

a weighted fan

of delicate extension

and lace filtered light,

feeding the understory

the pulse of growth



dancing beneath

the stretch of sun

the tilt of cool

and length of night,


russet frays amidst

resilient skin

does it grieve you

to lean

toward arid earth?

giving way

to the whisper

of soil,


A Mother's Hands

bless the hands that slice the apples

the hands that make magic of bread and meat

bless the hands that grip the oar

the hands that tie to iron cleat

bless the hands that till the soil

the hands that cut the paper crafts

bless the hands that rock the baby and, mercy—

the hands that can’t

the hands that tend to broken skin

and broken hearts

and broken glass

the hands that sew the worn-out knees

bless, bless these hands

the hands that hold another’s shape

the hands that fold the clothes

bless the hands for holding firm

the hands for letting go


Born and raised in Alaska, Kelsey McNeil attributes much of her creative inspiration from theexpansive landscapes and tight-knit communities of this great state. Never farther than a few steps from the ocean, she spent her childhood beneath the Tongass National Forest’s vast canopy of coastal evergreens. Today she spends 5 months out of the year piloting tour vessels throughout the glacially carved waterways near her hometown of Ketchikan, Alaska. When she’s not on the water she enjoys traveling, taking part in community events, and raising her two 5th generation Alaskan daughters in the same wild landscape that she grew up loving.


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