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The Spell of Shared Fingers

by John Roedel

I can't wait

for someone

to invent the

technology that

tells us when we

are holding hands with

somebody for the last time


the cruelest trick

of life is that it so

relentlessly temporary


I believe

that when we

hold hands we

are casting a spell


it's the magic

of making the

fluidity of our

existence feel

briefly static


it's the magic

of making the

fleeting present

feel like sticky taffy

caught on our tongue


when you

let me hold your



it feels like we are pouring

maple syrup on every clock

in this world


hold on,

don't go,

let me explain

there is a

specific energy

that can only

come from

laced fingers


connection is everything

we came here for


togetherness is the


of our lifetime


wrap your hand in mine

feel the

sunlight bursting through the gaps

of our tangled digits


you are loved

you are safe

you are here

I have you

you have me


this is our story


an epic tale

of holding on

to each other

as long as we



sending our Morse Code

love letters to each other

one quick hand squeeze at a time

as we walk into the dark forest



wait, keep listening


when I held

hands with you

on our

wedding day I

became a balloon

that you have tightly held on to

so I wouldn't ever float away

in my despair


you tied me

around your ring

finger and kept

me from getting lost

up into the church rafters


you hold

on to me

so tightly



keeping me from popping

I'm not done,


let me finish


when I held hands with

my children when they

were young I became a

foot taller and grew a

lion's mane


I held onto their

little hands so tightly


that I didn't ever notice

that they had grown so large

that they no longer needed

me to hold them anymore


then they let go

and I shrunk

and my mane

fell on the floor


and my hands

keep reaching for their


even though

are miles away


I can still feel the

phantom pains

of their absence


my hands remain open

in case they ever

need them again


or for when I need them


that reminds me...


when I held hands

with my parents on

their deathbed journey's

that were separated by

about 15 years


I could feel the piano music

of grace play silently

through our knotted



it was our final

desperate duet that we

played together

before the angels

came through

the walls


the room was quiet

their breathing was fading

time was running short


so I held on to

them as long as I could


hands in hands

fingers between fingers

until the room grew still

and their lights rose to

rejoin the stars


I think that the most

important moments

of my life have all

happened when I

am holding hands with



we didn't come here

for cars


or for jobs

or for flush bank accounts

or for being right

or for winning wars


we came here to

hold hands


that's it


time is relentless

let's not waste

any more of it


blanket your hand

around mine

and let's watch

the sunrise


pulse against pulse

thumping against the thin

skin that separates us


until our heartbeats madly

kiss each other through

the veins in our wrists


hold my hand

all night

by candlelight


until our twisted fingers

cast their shadows on the

wall like puppets who

tell the story of how our

love endured

the fickleness of this life


hold my hand

until we cast

a spell

that keeps

us frozen

together in the

warm magic of

this moment


a sanctuary

of fingers between fingers

and pulses against pulses


a sacred tethering

between two hands

that were always

meant to find

each other

About the Author

John Roedel is a stand-up comic has published two books in the past year: "Hey God. Hey John. : What Happens When God Writes Back" & "Any Given Someday: The Poetry Of What Comes Next."

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