The Empty Hand


by James Crews

Sometimes, a wound
must stay a wound.
No balm to calm the ache,
no charms against the evil
that harmed. To grieve
is to live with the pain,
as you sit by the bedside
of an ailing relative,
your hand held out
across the white blanket
for when they are ready
to grasp and squeeze.
Even if that means
the hand must stay
empty for a while.

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