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I cannot hold your hand today,
friend or stranger, when we meet.

I take instead the rose’s leaf,
‘hold me’, it said,
‘offer me your greeting.’

I cannot share embrace with you,
kin or neighbour, in love and gratitude.

I reach instead towards the sun,
‘come near,’ it beckons,
‘receive from me this kiss.’

I cannot pick you up today,
young child in the circle of my care.

I play instead with dirt and earth,
‘carry me’, the plants request,
‘to new soil in which to grow.’

poetry