When I Reach For You

18 Mar

Sometimes when I give you an unexpected kiss.
A nuzzle on the neck –
or a pat –
on whatever interesting place is handy –
you ask, “What was that for?”
Not so much from doubt,
but to hear me say “I love you” one more time.

A habit? Maybe – but a good one.
For all of that –
for in the Fall –
Or is it the Winter of our lives –
saying “I love you” one more time takes on meanings
it could not have when we were so delightfully young,
disgustingly slender and so smart we knew all there was worth knowing.
My “I love you” is deeper now –
It has shades, tones, textures, patterns
it could not have known before.

When I reach for you.
It is with the deep sense of the goodness
of the years
With you
My Love.

Author: Kaye Gibbons
Date: Unknown, circa 1990

This poem from my Aunt is very insightful, touching and helpful. Each time I read it is like the first time I did. Knowing someone personally who has written something like this biases you, I’m sure. But even without knowing this woman (one of my favorite relatives of all), you can learn something from her words.I often wonder about life and especially what to expect as I get older. This poem helps to shed some light on the subject. I value my Aunt’s words knowing how caring and intelligent she was. If I did not respect her, these words would simply be words.

There may be a time in my life that I write something to capture some lessons learned with my time here, but I don’t know that it will be nearly as good as this poem. I can only try and hope so.

Although I didn’t spend a great deal of time with her, I formed a concrete sense of her personality. She was a wonderful person whom I will remember in a positive light always.


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  1. Megan

    June 8, 2010 at 11:00 am

    RE: When I Reach For You: Oh, thank you for publishing this poem!!! I could not remember the precise wording and searched for it for a very long time. When I first met my husband’s amazing grandparents (who soon became MY beloved grandparents), a copy of this poem, recently cut from a newspaper, was hanging on the window above their kitchen sink. And there it lived for the rest of their many years together. Each and every time I visited, it invited me to see if it still held that place of honor in the morning sunlight overlooking the garden. And each time it grinned at me and struck me anew. I always hoped that one day I would be fortunate enough to be able to read those words and truly mean and understand them. And now, two kids and twenty years later, after very nearly losing the love of my life and having him back, I most certainly do. So as a gift to us on our anniversary, I will hang it above the kitchen sink, overlooking the garden. And we can be reminded every day that, like two people who inspired us both in so many ways, we are incredibly blessed to have found one another.