Holding

You entered, holding deep

red roses, velvet mysteries presented

with finesse: “Notice the language

of flowers. They’re not white.”

Not funeral, not wedding, not virgin.

An easy guest, an easy

way about the walk, the ready

smile. The laugh

infrequent, bright and deep, the eyes that missed

nothing. The withheld words.

An easy brush of hands, a deepening eye, and

nothing missed, but all held close and closed.

A shared taste for Laphroaig, smoky mystery

dispersed by water droplets, held in mystery.

A way to do, and a way not to do.

A corner chanced away from other guests, soft press

of lips, and soft again, and “Hold that thought.”

Agreed. And then the leaving.

Inherent in the leaving was the hold.

Hold awhile. Hold, consider. Hold that thought,

that mystery, abrupt, close-held, of hold.

— Frances Huggard Migliaccio

2012

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