Touch Hands

December 26, 2011

Ah, friends, dear friends, as years go on
and heads get gray,
how fast the guests do go!
Touch hands, touch hands,
with those that stay.
Strong hands to weak,
old hands to young,
around the Christmas board, touch hands.
The false forget, the foe forgive,
for every guest will go
and every fire burn low
and cabin empty stand.
Forget, forgive, for who may say
that Christmas day may ever come
to host or guest again.
Touch hands!

– William Henry Harrison Murray (1840-1904)

(at St. Mary’s)

may the tide
that is entering even now
the lip of our understanding
carry you out
beyond the face of fear
may you kiss
the wind then turn from it
certain that it will
love your back    may you
open your eyes to water
water waving forever
and may you in your innocence
sail through this to that

– Lucille Clifton, poet, 1936-2010.