Disclaimer: The author of the poem within this story is unknown to me, but the title of it is Hand Prints. No copyright infringement is intended. Although it probably wasn’t written in the 1940’s or 1950’s, I’m using it in that time period for story purposes.
By Audrey W.
~*~*~ *~*~*~ *~*~
After looking in the dorm and locker room and not finding
Johnny was holding a piece of yellow construction paper that was folded in half. His gaze didn’t leave the paper as he answered.
“Nothin’. I just remembered I had this card out here. I found it in a box in one of my closets the other day.”
DeSoto stepped closer to get a look at the item in Johnny’s hand. It was at an angle to where he couldn’t see the front.
“An old birthday card?”
Gage shook his head. “Mother’s Day.”
“Yeah. I made it for my mom when I was four years old.”
“It’s been in your closet all this time?”
Gage nodded. “I packed up a lot of stuff my aunt gave me when I moved out on my own.” He ran two fingers up and down the seam of the card. “I never really looked through it. Just kept everything in the box and when I moved from my first apartment to the one I’m in now, I didn’t look in the box. Just moved it from the old closet to the new one, ya know?”
“Did you do that on your own?”
Johnny held up the card. “This? Nah.
My aunt helped. I remember I wanted to get my mom flowers and didn’t have any
money. So my aunt showed me how to make a card like this.” He cracked a smile
as he looked at the handprints that stood for flower petals. “It was either
this or go in search of Dandelions. There’s a poem
inside that she copied down for me, too.” Johnny opened the card and handed it
The senior paramedic read the words inside the card as he listened to Johnny talk.
Sometimes you get discouraged
Because I am so small
And always leave my fingerprints
On furniture and walls.
But everyday I'm growing - -
I'll be grown someday
And all those tiny handprints
Will surely fade away.
So here's a final handprint
Just so you can recall
Exactly how my fingers looked
When I was very small.
When he was finished, Roy closed the card and looked at the front again.
A little boy’s handprints. Johnny’s.
Gage sniffed and swiped at his eyes, hoping his partner didn’t notice the emotion in his voice when he spoke.
“When ever I’d make a mess or get into trouble, mom always used to tell me someday I’d have kids of my own that would do the same kind of things. She couldn’t wait to see the day it happened, either.”
“She’d probably be nagging you for grandchildren now. Telling you ‘hurry up and get married, I’m not getting any younger you know’,” Roy said in a higher pitched voice, imitating a woman.
“Yeah,” Johnny snorted, accepting the card back from his friend. “It’s been a lot of years since she’s been gone, but I still miss her at times.”
“I can imagine. You okay?”
The younger man looked up at his partner. “Huh? Oh. . .yeah, I’m fine. I just had to come out here to have a minute with. . .” Gage shrugged. “Well, with ‘mom’.”
The tones sounded, sending the station out on a call for a warehouse fire. Johnny quickly set the card on the passenger seat of the Land Rover. As he closed the driver’s side door he glanced at the card again and smiled.
Thanks for the memories, Mom.