Telling the stories of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, NZ and Polynesia

Poem for Maundy Thursday

Wash my hands and not my feet, says poet Lucy Nanson.

Lucy Nanson  |  20 Apr 2011  |  1 Comment  

Wash my hands on Maundy Thursday

not my feet

My hands peel potatoes, wipe messes from the floor

change dirty nappies, clean the grease from pots and pans

have pointed in anger and pushed away in tears

in years past they’ve smacked a child and raised a fist

fumbled with nervousness, shaken with fear

I’ve wrung them when waiting for news to come

crushed a letter I’d rather forget

covered my mouth when I’ve been caught out

touched forbidden things, childhood memories do not grow dim

These hands have dug gardens, planted seeds

picked fruit and berries, weeded out and pruned trees

found bleeding from the rose’s thorns

dirt and blood mix together

when washed before a cup of tea

Love expressed by them

asks for your respect

in the hand-shake of warm greeting, the gentle rubbing of a child’s bump

the caressing of a lover, the softness of a baby’s cheek

sounds of music played by them in tunes upon a flute

they’ve held a frightened teenager, touched a father in his death

where cold skin tells the end of life has come but not the end of love

comforted a mother losing agility and health

With my hands outstretched before you

I stand humbled and in awe

your gentle washing in water, the softness of the towel

symbolizing a cleansing

the servant-hood of Christ

Wash my hands on Maundy Thursday

and not my feet.

Lucy Nanson is a New Zealand Anchorite.


Bolivia Smith

Omg... thank you Lucy Nanson! I love this poem. So awesome...