Fathers and Sons and Holding Hands

(for TAN)

My son was 12
when we last held hands,
walking through a parking lot
to buy bagels after church.

I reached out to be sure he safe
and he held on briefly but let go,
making clear he had grown
too old for holding hands.

And now we draw near
to the day he’ll take my hand
when we cross busy roads,
and I will try not to let go,
for a father must never grow
too old for holding hands.

I remember a Dear Abby column in which a young bride wrote to express concern over the fact that her new husband still kissed his father goodbye after every visit. “How long should a grown man kiss his father?” the bride asked. “Until the day his father dies,” Abby replied. Perhaps this poem springs from that, and I do have a very clear memory of the event described in the poem. I wrote the poem last November, and it annoys me that I still make changes every time I look at it, including just now as I prepare this blog post. I think it’s finally close to being its best self . . . but I’ve thought that previously, too.

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A New Poem Every Monday
(tho’ sometimes life gets in the way)

Joseph Neely, all rights to original content reserved.

2 thoughts on “Fathers and Sons and Holding Hands

  1. Here here for always holding hands & kissing hello/goodbye. For, eventually, we’ll regret every time we didn’t do so.


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