Hand Holding

Father’s grip
controlling crush
warned against

First love
Grade one
holding hands
walking home

A sister’s hand –
frail flesh stretched
over aching bones –
clung to mine
until too hot to touch
I had to let go
while she surrendered
her last breath.

A lover’s hand
lacks stillness –
strokes and cajoles
sensuality evoking desire

Held my children’s hands
with my heart –
never wanting to let go
prideful possession

A granddaughter’s fist
still pink from birthing
wraps around my finger
gripping the unknown
with the ferocity of
one hungry for life

Husband’s hand
reaches for mine
conveys support –
strength to propel
me forward.

Hands convey
what the mind cannot –
a secret language
nuanced for life’s moments
leaving deep impressions.

(Hand Holding first appeared here August, 2018. I submit an edited edition here for Reena’s Exploration challenge: hands. Image from personal collection.)


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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

63 thoughts on “Hand Holding”

  1. This is like an epic poem focused on hands, V.J. Hands do so much, communicate so much and love so much. I did my mom’s eulogy on her hands – which mine are beginning to very much look like. Lovely poem.

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  2. Hands can tell our stories. I have always been fascinated by the idea of “life lines” supposedly running through the palm. And the sense of touch – both good and not so good. I really like your poem – its intensity, its imagery – so vivid.

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