You have always been the kind of person to tell a toddler your hands are smaller than theirs.
As I have grown taller and more elegant and my hands have remained smaller than yours
I have come to the realization that the tips of our fingers only ever matched
Because you never let the palms line up.
When the tires both ripped and fell flat
Because you were trying to reach me too fast
All I could do was hold a light above your head and hope that those big hands
Would somehow be numb to cold.
My fingers began to shake as the red in the thermometer shrank
And all I did was watch you methodically push the lever back and forth,
Lift the car up, and struggle to switch out a deflated mechanism.
I could hear it in your voice and see it in the frown in your gaze:
You were tired of blowing air into a balloon that didn’t want to get any bigger.
Just grow up, I had scrawled into the mud the night before,
Sighing and forgetting that you were listening in the other room;
As you get older you aren’t allowed to tune everything out.
As you get older, you pretend your hands are smaller than they actually are
And change the tires in the inbetween.
All I can ever do is call, call to the mother and the neighbor and the old friend
And tell them he wants to ask for help but he’s just too cold to speak
Since you left your coat on the kitchen counter at home,
Assuming that there wouldn’t be any rips nor potholes in our future.
Your shaking hand is always the one to hold the robot voice,
You are always the one to sigh and say it’ll be expensive
Because I am the one wasting all of your credit.
And all I can hope to do is grow up to have big hands too so that one day I can line up our palms
And take the wrench from you
To change the tires myself.
Julia Healey-Parera is an enthusiast of dramatic interpretations of daily life who spends her hours doing homework weeks in advance, binge-reading web-comics, and avoiding athletics. If she can afford it, Julia will empty her wallet while sipping boba, devouring tamales, and savoring palak paneer.