Hold Those Hands

You can’t know what it’s like

To fear never seeing him

Smile again…

Not yet, your days of fear

Of hard breaths and shallow

Thoughts buried beneath deeper

Worries will come.


You can’t know what it’s like

To wake afraid

And unable to creep to his room

Just to be sure.


And I’m glad you don’t know

What it’s like to watch other children

And think of your son’s smile

With wistful sadness,


But this was my choice to make,

And they are my tears to shed,

My nights to spend reading and fearing,

My days to wait for word of him in,

My weeks to count before

I can wrap my arms about him again.


If I had the choice to make


It couldn’t have been different

For us all,

Because I wouldn’t take these tears

From my cheeks only

To place them on yours.


We learn what a tiny place

We occupy in life

A tiny space of life

In a larger world of mothers,


Sons and daughters,

Sisters, cousins



My tiny life is a place now

Of much softness,

Much quietness,

And much song.


I can wait to sing with him

To hold him,

I can survive

The choices I made

And the fear that inhabits them,

All the “What if’s” and “Should I’s” of life,

I can do that

If you hold his hands for me


Until I can take them again in mine.


~ by Rebecca Erickson on January 19, 2012.

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