Not so much an ‘iTouch’, as ‘touch me’.

I heard this poem on the radio in the car on the way home, and I was moved to share it with you here.

The third stanza resonated because when you’ve been on your own for a while, you do wonder if anyone will ever touch you again.

The poem is reprinted by kind permission of no-one, but the author is a lady called Marge Piercy, and I thank her for her beautifully woven words.

The tao of touch

by Marge Piercy

What magic does touch create
that we crave it so. That babies
do not thrive without it. That
the nurse who cuts tough nails
and sands calluses on the elderly
tells me sometimes men weep
as she rubs lotion on their feet.

Yet the touch of a stranger
the bumping or predatory thrust
in the subway is like a slap.
We long for the familiar, the open
palm of love, its tender fingers.
It is our hands that tamed cats
into pets, not our food.

The widow looks in the mirror
thinking, no one will ever touch
me again, never. Not hold me.
Not caress the softness of my
breasts, my inner thighs, the swell
of my belly. Do I still live
if no one knows my body?

We touch each other so many
ways, in curiosity, in anger,
to command attention, to soothe,
to quiet, to rouse, to cure.
Touch is our first language
and often, our last as the breath
ebbs and a hand closes our eyes.

“The tao of touch” by Marge Piercy, from The Hunger Moon: New & Selected Poems, 1980-2010. © Alfred A. Knopf, 2011.  (buy now)

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