Her small brown fingers intertwine
with mine. She holds on tight.
She whispers courage in my ear.
Says "don't hold up: be held."
Kisses my forehead, a mother
checking for fever or giving a blessing.
Our fingers tangle like lovers.
She strokes my palm and I shiver.
In grief I always think I'm alone --
think no one sees me, or wants to.
She shakes her head, exasperated
and fond. I keep forgetting.
Long after I've let go of her hand
she's still holding me.