First Hug


Someday soon we will hug again,
even if we weren’t big huggers before,
and for the rest of our lives
we’ll tell stories about our first,
just to relive where we were,
and who it was,
and when,
and how good it felt,
and how relieved we were
after a pandemic year of drought
that our thirsty bodies still knew how
to swallow each other up
in this strange and tender thing we humans do,
binding beating heart to beating heart.
We’ll tell how the entire world
shrank to that one embrace.
We’ll tell how once we finally let go
we pulled each other back 
into the shelter of shared breath and flesh
and stood there, hanging on and on, 
storing up the feel of all we’d missed
against the fear of losing touch again.


Play notes: I've been quiet a while. Life has been intense since Dad died. Mom has been hospitalized three times with what we in the family suspect might be Broken Heart Syndrome. But this week she got her first hug since last April, from a staffer in her elder care community. Oh, that was great medicine! And I knew, hearing her tell the story, that I needed to write a poem about it. May you enjoy your first safe hug soon.

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