We barely walk together anymore.
The limited times we venture out, now, the barren streets pose no threat. And anyway, you have long since been “too old” for my protection.
Still, you reached for my hand.
Hand-in-hand we moved along the sidewalk. In whatever chaotic place, in Mumbai, Washington, Mexico City, across whatever peaceful pasture or park, since the day you could walk you reached for my hand.
Even now, nearly ten, the most natural thing has been the warmth of your palm in mine.
For so many years past the age of rejection: I stopped fearing the day you would stop.
Now I know. If our luck holds and we avoid the virus; if we survive this world-shaping malady; if we come out of quarantine with our wits; still I’ll look back on this as our great casualty.
Social distancing has driven our hands apart.
When we move freely again through these city streets, accosted on all sides by rickshaws, motorbikes, and speeding cars, will your hand remember how to reach for mine?
Will it remember the safety and comfort in that?