Holding Hands

At last

We held hands and walked past the
lilacs and apple tree blossoms,
lingering at bassinets and baby cribs,
to catch smiles, dimples,
a glimpse of an indescribable love
that came unannounced and stayed as
we held hands through the years.
We ran, we played, we laughed, we cried.
Viet Nam became thorns along our pathway
and our country stumbled when no one
welcomed home those who sacrificed
to give us freedom to hold hands, to walk
through the years–to live, to love, to be.
Since ‘Nam, other wars have claimed the core
of happiness, and tears hiding ugly scars
have formed unending rivers of regret.
Yet, our journey continues to be indescribable
and filled with love that invited our hearts
to join, to bond, to stay on the lilac-scented
pathway where we first held hands.

Our journey began not a long time ago, and yet
eternity passed while we waited for the doctor
to emerge from the operating room.  Together
we watched the expression on his face, which
told us before his words reached our ears,
that our little one would run and play again.
Holding hands, we thanked God for answering
our prayer.

We watched from the sidelines as graduating
caps hurled skyward hid the sun, and our children
marched away to drums pounding loud tunes only
they could hear.  Tears roared  like rivers.
Undercurrents tumbled regret, happiness, sadness,
pride, laughter, mixing the emotions that swirled
in our hearts.

We stroll past the lilacs that bloom now with less
color and past the apple tree that no longer bears
fruit. We stroll, holding hands.

© 2013, Freeda Baker Nichols

Photo source: Flickr.com through Zemanta