after Robert Fulghum
Hold hands, yes, when crossing busy streets,
or on icy sidewalks, or slippery stairs,
hold hands when walking in the park,
hold hands when walking up the street to the convenience
store and back again. Hold hands if you feel like it.
Hold hands when receiving milk from another’s body,
or offering it, or looking on as a not-so-innocent
bystander of whatever sex.
Hold hands before you kiss,
hold hands after making love.
Hold hands like they do in the movies
(there’s no need to try to be original),
hold hands when no one else is doing it
and when everyone in sight already is
(see originality). Hold hands with strangers,
not every chance you get (obviously) but
certainly far more often than you do now.
Hold hands when getting good news
you can’t believe, hold hands
when getting bad news you can.
Hold hands today, you’ll thank yourself tomorrow
and—this part’s magical—you’ll thank yourself yesterday
Hold hands when you feel like it and sometimes when you
don’t. Hold hands across a table in a restaurant
and in waiting rooms, and as the plane takes off
and lands. Hold hands when it’s obviously
the right thing to do, and sometimes when it might be
exactly the wrong thing—chance it then sometimes too.
Hold hands at your own times, for your own reasons.
Hold hands at home.
Hold hands with yourself (you don’t need
to call it prayer though you’re welcome to).
Hold hands when the lights go down
and when they come back up again.
Hold hands at awesome spectacles, hold hands
at ordinary ones, hold hands at famous fabulous
landmarks and famous boring ones and famous mixtures
Hold hands when you’re least expected to
and also when you’re most expected to
(this was said already but it’s important).
Hold hands at places and events too numerous
to mention and easily imagined by anybody:
beaches, fireworks displays, off and on in
movies, your child’s first recital, your child’s
last recital, someone’s graduation, entering or leaving
a cemetery etc. etc.
Hold hands fairly soon after reading this poem.
Hold hands long after you’ve forgotten it.
Hold hands when one or both of you
is going into the dark, and hold hands when one
of you doesn’t come back. Keep holding hands
a little longer when an official- or kind-sounding voice
tells you it’s time to let go, because it
isn’t quite. Not yet. Hold hands.