Hands, by Adrian Neibauer

I look for chores to busy my hands,
inherited from Marie, my German grandmother.
She barely sat down for 76 years. She would clean
and cook and wash and cut the grass.

Except when Frida would come over. Two German
sisters: sitting over coffee, chatting in German, smiling
at their grandchildren as I meandered in and out of the kitchen;
until one day I was old enough to sit with them.

I told them I was studying German. They asked me
to speak, clicking their tongues as I twisted and curled my
tongue. They tsked at my hochdeutsch. Their own speech
born out of the Depression, WWII, cleaning the bank, raising children

who didn’t want to stay in Laurel, MT. Their language,
the words they used, had so much more substance.
My textbook talk was highfalutin, stuck in meaningless
conversations about Claudia and Hans ordering coffee after school.

Marie and Frida talked, spoke their truths and then stood
up from the linoleum kitchen table to wash the dishes.


Adrian Neibauer received his Master’s degree in instructional learning technologies and Ph.D. in educational equity and leadership from the University of Colorado, Denver and currently works as a district-wide teaching coach in Aurora, Colorado, where he resides with his family. With over a decade of teaching experience, Adrian strives to transform classrooms and create innovative, student centered educational programs that stretch beyond traditional approaches. He regularly updates his poetry blog: undiscoveredpoems.blogspot.com and his professional website: adrian-neibauer.com.

Twitter: @UndiscoverPoem

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