Hand to hand.


Holding hands.

I can still feel the callouses on the pads of his hand, as he grasped mine. I could feel the thickness of his skin, as if he wore flesh gloves. Not like my mother’s hand, so soft and warm. I felt like I was connected to her when I held her hand, like I could feel her heart as the blood pulsed somewhere beneath the skin. But his was a paw, an instrument used to cuff, to twist, to wrench. All of my weight pulled against his hand, my wrist hurt, my elbow ached but he would not yield.

I could see her face.

I twisted, I tried to reach her with my other hand. I screamed but he was pulling me away.

I could see her face.

I could see her desperation. Animal. Maternal. Profound.

He pulled harder. The words would not come. My scream clogged. Her scream came finally as she fell. Still he held me tight. She fell. He grasped me close.

“It’s ok. You are safe. You are safe.”



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