The first thing I learned about
holding someone’s hand
is that it was a restriction.
When they gripped my fingers so tight
I thought they’d fall off.
I knew I couldn’t pick and choose
where I wanted to go.
I was stuck, quite firmly, by their side.

I hated having to hold their hand.
The world was my oyster and here I was,
glued to someone’s side for what
seemed like all my life.
And I didn’t want to do that.
I wanted to run wild and experience new things,
and discover new places
all by myself.

Then I grew up a bit;
and when they held my hand now
it was for safety;
like when we’d go out together
and we’d have to cross a street.
It felt like somehow,
their fingers laced with mine
could shield us from whatever threatened harm.
But I still didn’t want to hold their hand.
I could fight my own battles,
I could protect myself.
But how could I do that when
my most powerful weapons
were caught in somebody else’s?
I felt even more vulnerable.

Then I grew up again.
And I learned that people held my hand
for support.
Like when their lives came crashing down around them;
their only comfort would be to feel
their palm against mine;
a sense of calm during a storm;
as if a gentle squeeze of my fingers
would revive the dead or cure disease.
But, I did not want anyone to hold my hand.
I could take whatever came my way;
I did not need a shoulder to cry on
nor a hand to hold,
because this was all a part of life.

But now I’m at a cross roads;
because all my life
I wanted to fend for myself;
keep my hands to myself.
And I was happy.
But now I want nothing more
than to hold your hand.
I want to be your comfort and support.
I want to be your safety and guide,
and to be by your side as long as possible,
for our hands to fit together like a glove,
and to never let go of what we have,
because even when you are out of reach
I know you’ll come back again
to hold my hand.

About the Author

Ciara Delaney

Ciara Delaney is 18 years old and has attended Presentation Secondary School in Loughboy. Besides writing poetry and short fiction, her other great interest is theatre. She has twice appeared in Rhyme Rag.