Touch: The Journal of Healing



    by Sally Houtman

As a child I stood at your side, caught in the rhythm

of your arm – you moved the iron, round and round


the smooth white lake of my father’s shirt. I remember

your hair – how it swayed like shafts of wheat along the


freckled plain of your cheek, the air full of steam and

Spring and shirts, slumped in mourning rose smooth


and flawless as your face. Today I am at your side,

caught in the rhythm of your breathing, air passing


through your sleeping lungs, your hair coiled in wiry

strands, brushed against the rugged plain of your


cheek. The air is filled with Autumn and thoughts.

You lie loose-leafed and loosely bound, like a book


whose dog-eared pages hold their crease, raw

evidence of their wear. And I know that, as earth


remembers foot and bone, memories press and

hold their shape, and I’ll hold you to me.

© 2009 Sally Houtman

Sally Houtman is an American-born writer who relocated to new Zealand in 2005. She is the author of a non-fiction book entitled, "To Grandma's House, We...Stay" which is in its third printing. She has written many non-fiction articles over the years. Recently she has had poetry published in Rustblind and fiction in Midnight Screaming and Flashquake. She lives in Wellington, New Zealand with her husband and two children.


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Touch: The Journal of Healing

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