There's the hug-snuggle for your little children
and the running-into-your-arms hug,
the I know you and I love you hug,
the comfort hug of funeral homes,
the clutch-hug of lovers in bed.
But we hug strangers now.
I don't recall this 20,30 years ago.
On our first encounter
the almost indecipherable movement
towards each other indicates
we will now hug -
although we've just met.
I liked the old-fashioned handshake
but even that was questionable
as a girl, it sometimes felt
manly and businesslike.
If we shake hands now
we may transport swine flu
to an unsuspecting potential friend.
What? You didn't get the shot?
You sneezed this morning and now
you are shaking my hand? Since we
are strangers it would be better to hug,
while puffing kisses at each others' cheeks.
My first hugging friend embraced me
after she heard all my stories
and still wanted to be my friend.
She hugged me on arriving
and hugged me on departing
for no reason at all except
she liked me, and even after knowing me
still believed that I deserved her hug.