Looking at Our World Through Poetry: A Touch

I hold in my hand

A book
A book you gave me
The night before surgery
A night when you were afraid for me.

I look again

At the passages
You marked
And I realize anew
How much you cared
How very much you loved me.

I caress
The covers of this beloved book
Beloved because you touched it
Beloved because you gave it to me
In my moment of need;
In your moment of fear
When you didn’t know
What else to do.

So many years have passed
So many caresses of those pages
And of these covers.
So many moments
When my touch of these pages
Have brought you nearer to me.

I touch my gift of words
The way I used to touch your face
And I feel
Your presence near
As it was, in my hospital room
So many years ago.

I touch the words you wrote
And I see again
The beauty of your smile
When you knew that I was
Going to be alright.

I feel your hand as it touches mine,
I feel your hand as you give me this gift;
As we talk
About matters both heavy and light;
No other man’s hand
Has ever felt like yours does.

Your hand
So soft
So strong
Yet so gentle
And in your touch
I feel your love.

That Current of reciprocal
Understanding and trust
That is so special to us
Sparks once again
Through this book
From your hand
To my hand
And, again,
I know I am loved.

Betty Stockley 2000