Men would bet upon my father's hands. Could he pick up in just one fist A dozen eggs scattered on a table - One by one - cracking none? He'd reach his hand (stretched at five by Pulsing milk from freshened cows) And settle shells beneath each knuckle's crease. Then pressing oh so slightly he'd lift A dozen unflawed shells high Above his head and grin. He'd bring his white bouquet to me - At two and six and eight and ten I'd pluck the twelve white blossoms Set them in a bowl and sit within his hands. But at thirteen I wouldn't take his flowers When he put the white shells down and Asked me for my empty hand in his I ran. Who can take a father's hand And hold it at thirteen? At forty though I can.