a grandmother’s hands

i follow her instructions
to the letter
one and a half cups
for every cup
rinse with more 
seriousness than usual
neutral cooking oil
instead of coconut
boil the water first
allow the rice to open
turn the heat down
low, low, low
as low as you can get it

it doesn’t come close

there must be something
in a grandmother’s hands
a certainty perhaps
a wisdom that can only 
come from repetition and 
loving intention

the way my own Mother
instinctively knows
how to make my son giggle
how he reaches for her
and no other

the sureness of her hands
the internal rhythm of her 
every movement
the hums and rhymes and
ease and comfort and joy 
she emits
it flows naturally 
as though from a well
deep inside her
some sacred grandmother
reservoir containing
every recipe, lullaby, 
well-worn memory
earned through 

the profound
the art of making 
the perfect rice
the art of soothing
and delighting
a sixteen-month-old
the exquisite 
of a grandmother’s