I sat today with an older woman
age 85 recounting her sadnesses
her head leaning forward
barely any pauses
in her litany.
As our hour goes on
I ask if she’d like some conversation
“yes but first I need to tell you more…”
perhaps that’s what is needed,
to speak, to be heard
and so I listen.
As the hour is ending my mind wanders
glimpsing a memory of my friend Norie
crawling under the table in the hospital
to hold our friend’s feet during a time of darkness
the needed medicine for that day and other days
I wonder… and ask the woman if I may touch her feet.
She is startled and says yes.
I drop to the floor and place a hand around each ankle
holding her feet silently, my head bowed.
She goes silent and then I hear her sob
“no one has touched me for years”
we hold this silent pause.
The hour is over.