HomeSouthern VoiceThe Weight of Life: Waynesboro, Virginia

The Weight of Life: Waynesboro, Virginia

by Sarah Bigham

There are hands here to help
and hands that hurt when helping,
tough to work the shift and
feed the mouths and
calm the repetitive fears and
give the baths to bodies unable to shift and
type the notes and
change the beds and
fold the laundry piles of whites and gowns and sticky-soled socks

There are hands here to reach out and
clasp the doughy, creped
powdery skin of hands
belonging to another time and place,
attached to breathing, heart-beating bodies
unable to convey the ache of loneliness
as they wait to be called

With hope, there are parental hands above
for an elderly child
with long dark hair
and a gentle drawl
in her solo room
with a bed and a chair and
black and white photos
of those only she


Sarah Bigham teaches, writes and paints in Maryland, where she lives with her kind chemist wife, their three independent cats and an unwieldy herb garden. Having grown up just above the Mason Dixon Line in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and now living just below the line, she has a unique perspective on the juxtaposition of North vs. South. She attended college in Virginia and has multiple friends and family members who live in the “real South,” as they call it. A Puschcart nominee, her poetry, fiction, and nonfiction have appeared in CEO Literary Review, Dulcet Quarterly, Dying Dahlia Review, Pulse: Voices from the Heart of Medicine, Snapdragon, Touch: The Journal of Healing, Whirlwind and other great places for readers and writers. Find her at