My Mother’s Hands

 My response to Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Heeding Haiku With Chèvrefeuille

Our challenge this week is to take a haiku by a classical haiku poet:

First autumn morning
the mirror I stare into
shows my father’s face.

© Murakami Kijo*

and then create a haibun with a maximum of 300 words, including our own original haiku.


When my mother was first diagnosed with dementia, almost five years ago, it wasn’t obvious. She wasn’t as gregarious or chatty as she used to be and often seemed anxious, but she still enjoyed taking her dog for a walk and insisted on making tea and sandwiches for visitors. On her birthday following the diagnosis, my husband and I took her for a celebratory meal. It was then that I noticed she couldn’t control her hands, which were slowly turning into little claws from a combination of severe rheumatism and the stiffening experienced by many dementia patients. She couldn’t use cutlery and had started to eat with her fingers. She was so ashamed of this that she ate very little. I too suffer with numb fingers on my left hand and stiff fingers on my right, which often manifests itself in my handwriting and typing – I used to type fast and accurately and was recently shocked at the number of typos in a short paragraph. I have to proofread very carefully, particularly on my Kindle or mobile phone.

Words limp on the page,

twisted rheumatic letters

typed by mother’s hands.

© Kim M. Russell, 2016


4 thoughts on “My Mother’s Hands

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