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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.