You took my hand and asked me to dance,
But I was far too tired to do so,
The simple act of walking being far beyond
My limited capabilities at that point.
I had been reduced to hugs and kisses,
And tales of how glorious my past lives had been,
And holding hands.
I wondered if I should let go- it seemed so different,
From any I'd ever held before, that hand.
For years I'd held others with the sole
Intention of drawing pain away-
I am not capable of creating happiness,
And I've never claimed otherwise.
Your hand had no pain to draw away though,
Or at least none that I could find,
Which startled me (All the others held so much!)
I had thought I knew all there was to know about hands-
Their needs, and all the varieties they come in.
How they all needed comforting in different ways
For similar ailments- grief, loneliness,
Heartbreak, being among the most common.
I'd even learnt to hold phantoms limbs for a few.
I'd move the pain aside, lessen it, or sometimes
Even take it as my own, releasing it when no-one else was looking,
Into a stone, or an abandoned old house.
But your hand simply said "I am here to be held."
It shocked me so much I didn't realise I was
Walking again. You glided gracefully ahead
As I clunked behind, unsure of myself,
Holding on to you, trying to figure you out
In the short window of opportunity I had left.
I saw it as our interlocked fingers departed.
Somewhere in the webbing between your ring
And index fingers on your left hand
Was what I had been searching for all along.
I won't go into detail about what I saw
(Our pain is no-one's business but our own),
But I saw it though, far more beautifully arranged
Than I thought was ever possible,
Noticing you had stolen some of mine
When I wasn't looking, and wondering
How much damage I had done.
I don't know whether I danced with you or not,
The release answered so much while
Explaining not quite enough.
I watched you, enraptured by the way
The pain never once showed
Through those beautiful, happy eyes,
Which never seemed to break.
Now I wonder if I had held your palm
Not too little, but far too much.
The pain I saw was labelled thus-
"Life experiences- Please don't touch
All is well. Please remain calm."