She looks at me hesitantly 
There is something on her mind
I feel her turmoil, her anxiety
But I’m also aware of the impropriety
Of looking straight into her soul
Uninvited, I can’t make bold
Enough to let her know
That I know that something is not right

She looks away, I continue to read
The label on the jar of cream in my hands
Luxury Hand Lotion it says
Lilac and English lavender
I am acutely aware of her disquietude
Intensely, minutely even as I
Focus on the object I cannot put down …
She finally speaks to me with her eyes

Have you ever felt unlike yourself?
Like it was not you who was experiencing
The pain … the loss … the tragedy …
Like you were on the outside, just watching?
The jar of cream breaks free from the spell
As I face her with all of my being
It now sits on the table flat and still
As I look at her, letting my heart speak

I know, dearest one … I can feel your hurt
Talk to me, or don’t talk at all
Let it all out or just set it free
In the secret spaces of your soul
Listen to your grief, speak to it too
Until the throb recedes a notch or two
Then let me in, let me hold you close
Let me share your pain as I sit with you

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