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I expect most of y’all will have heard of this. Maybe. I hadn’t until today, and I am now really eager to go and do it. Maybe after college one day? In Churchill Square? Or the Lanes?

This, by the way, is the Free Hugs Campaign.

It’s amazing. So inspirational. And hey, hugs are important things. They can change a life. This small act of kindness and generosity is really quite incredible.

Thought I’d share that, and this poem, with you. Enjoy.

The Hug– Tess Gallagher

A woman is reading a poem on the street

and another woman stops to listen. We stop too,

with our arms around each other. The poem

is being read and listened out here

in the open. Behind us

no one is entering or leaving the houses.

Suddenly a hug comes over me and I’m

giving it to you, like a variable star shooting light

off to make itself comfortable, then

subsiding. I finish but keep holding

you. A man walks up to us and we know he hasn’t

come out of nowhere, but if he could, he

would have. He looks homeless because of how

he needs. “Can I have one of those?” he asks you,

and I feel you nod. I’m surprised,

surprised you don’t tell him how

it is – that I’m yours, only

yours, etc., exclusive as a nose to

its face. Love – that’s what we’re talking about, love

that nabs you with ‘for me

only’ and holds on.

So I walk over to him and put my

arms around him and try to

hug him like I mean it. He’s got an overcoat on

so thick I can’t feel

him past it. I’m starting the hug

and thinking, ‘How big a hug is this supposed to be?

How long shall I hold this hug?’ Already

we could be eternal, his arms falling over my

shoulders, my hands not

meeting behind his back, he is so big!

I put my head into his chest and snuggle

in. I lean into him. I lean my blood and my wishes

into him. He stands for it. This is his

and he’s starting to give it back so well I know he’s

getting it. This hug. So truly, so tenderly

we stop having arms and I don’t know if

my lover has walked away or what, or

if the woman is still reading the poem, or the houses –

what about them? – the houses.

Clearly a little permission is a dangerous thing.

But when you hug someone you want it

to be a masterpiece of connection, the way the button

on his coat will leave the imprint of

a planet in my cheek

when I walk away. When I try to find some place

to go back to.




And on that note – adieu!

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