Distracted By Love

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holly grantham -distracted by love-3

When I was a little girl
and still too short to see over the hard
church pew
or past the sea of hairdos
in order that I might study
the flowers on the altar,
I used to sidle up under my mother’s arm,
instead,
and lean into her softness.
That slanting like a
sigh of honey,
golden and warm.

I was not one to fidget because
I didn’t want to upset her or
act in a way that would elicit
that deep line between
her eyes.
The one that read like a
book of high expectations.
So, I always sat still.
And silent.
It was then that I would
look at her hands.

With both of my hands
I would gather up one of hers,
all milky blue and
soft as crushed velvet.
Cupping it delicately and
reverently,
I would trace
the outline of each finger and nail,
memorizing each square inch
and
line
and
curve.
From time to time
she would look down at me
and smile.
I think she liked me holding
her hand,
distracting her for a moment
with my love.

So many years later,
after I had grown and left and
changed my name,
I came home.
She was now sick and dying,
despite our denial.
It was then that I took to
crawling in bed with her.
And once again,
I took her hands
in mine.

Rivers of blue now ran in
the valleys between her bones and
her paper thin skin was
peppered with memories.
Remarkably, those hands still felt
like crushed velvet.
I suppose
love-worn skin is like that.
And in her last days,
I traced her hands
again.
From time to time
she would look over at me
and smile.
She liked me holding
her hand,
distracting her for a moment
with my love.

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Holly Grantham
Holly is a wife, very relaxed homeschooling mom of three boys, snapper of photos, coming of age writer and a soul drowning in grace. After years in Atlanta where she attended college, married the love of her life and lived in an intentional community, she found her way back to her home state of Missouri. She now lives in an antebellum stone house, raises chickens (sometimes) and pretends that she lives in the country.
Holly Grantham

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