Holding Hands by Carole Martin

And as we walked, he took my hand and held it,
that first time; stroked the quiet of my palm,
and something changed – the barometric pressure?
Something strange, like static; we avoided
each other’s look – just that connection
hand to hand; it seemed to say so much.
The ordinary world moved round us; shopfronts
of Next, Holland and Barrett, Clark’s
became refulgent as we neared their glass,
and shoppers, busy with their own concerns,
smiled at our two hands clasped, we thought.
Maybe it wasn’t so; only the touch
of hand to hand, glimpsed as our coats swung clear,
seemed like the centre of the shivering world;
a resting place at last; at least to us.