Did I ever tell you about the first time that Karen and I held hands?
We weren’t yet “dating,” we were just good friends, and we went to see a re-release of the movie, “The Sound of Music,” at a grand old movie theatre that isn’t there anymore in Phoenix, Arizona.
Anyway, I held Karen’s hand as she and I stepped over this knee-high wall, and the electric thrill that went through me from just that one slight touch made me quickly drop her hand as soon as she’d crossed over because I felt that if I hadn’t I wouldn’t have ever let go of Karen’s hand
You see my heart already knew what my head hadn’t yet figured out; namely, that I loved this young woman and didn’t want to live my life without her.
It was another year of painfully sweet “friendship” before I professed my love to Karen and we first kissed.
She told me many years after we’d been married that she didn’t want me to let go of her hand that night either and also that there were times during that year of our friendship that she cried herself to sleep because she knew that she loved me but feared that I only thought of us as friends.
Decades later after Karen and I saw the movie “Bright Star” about the tragic unrequited love affair between John Keats and Fanny Brawne, I wrote my longest poem for Karen which I then gave to her for our anniversary years ago.
I gave our poem the name, ”Hope.”
Why did you so want to hold my hand
when once we crossed over that low wall?
Friends to lovers in our first touch,
tho’ neither you nor I then knew this much.
“Oh don’t let go,” you prayed,
even as I wanted not to do what I next did.
Unsure as yet what my heart did know,
I released the joy held in your hand.
By pure sweet grace He made us one,
and I hold your hand now in the night.
Sure love have I in your embrace,
even in just your fingertips.
Why did you want to hold my hand?
Through all my days I thank God you did!
Should I close your eyes,
or you close mine,
or we rise together
by angels’ flight,
you have been my vision of beauty
in this world,
the treasured reason for my sight.
I see you as you once were.
I see you now as you are.
I see you as one day you’ll be.
And I know you see me also this one in three.
How else could you still love me?
How else could He?
What I especially like about this poem is that even though it’s about Karen and me, the last thought is of my possibly imaginary Friend . . .
the One who made us one.
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