aging · creativity · culture · expression · poetry · relationships · writing

Hand Holding

Found my first love
holding hands
walking home
from school –
grade one.

Father’s grip
crushed,
controlled,
warned against
disobedience,
held on until
compliance
was assured.

My sister’s hand –
frail flesh stretched
over aching bones –
clung to mine
until her internal heat
burned the touch
and I had to let go
while she surrendered
her last breath.

A lover’s hand
lacks stillness –
strokes and cajoles,
employs sensuality
to invoke desire.

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

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

My husband’s hand
reaches out for mine
conveys support
for unsteady legs
offers strength
to propel me forward.

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

(Tonight is Open Link night at dVerse, and our host Lillian has invited us to celebrate with her, as August 9th marks many National celebrations, one of which is National Hand Holding Day.  To see the others and join in, visit here.)

 

 

adversity · creativity · culture · life · relationships · writing

Checked Out

Every woman needs a man,
Mother told her, to be complete.

To submit, she realizes, too late
soul traded for high-rise living,
big city dreams numbing
inner losses.

She eats to appease inner sorrow –
a second-rate childhood – afraid
of being a burden, loathe
to create a stir – conditioned
complacency:

appeasing,
pleasing,
follows plans,
avoids decisions…

never really knows where she is going.

Can she fault her man, schooled
to provide – the alpha male
taking ownership/charge?

His own lack, like a child,
feeding on impulses, craving
attention, overcompensating
for fears with bravado…

cannot understand her fear
of assertiveness – alternately reads
acceptance and disapproval, frets –
gut gnawing incessantly.

They stumble over each other, seek
separation in small quarters, discuss
repairmen, schedules – nothing;

avoid deeper issues such as the fact
that they are both suffocating, near
jumping off the ledge of their high-
falutin’ existence, into the snarl
of traffic that immobilizes them,
the noise of city living negating
their ability to listen, distractions
altering identities, until the distance
between
is too far
to bridge
in a single sigh                      and she
no longer                        submissive
has joined him

and checked out.

(This is a rewrite of a poem, by the same name, written in June 2016.  Shared here for DVerse’s Open Link Night.)