In explanation (poetry needs not a summary methinks): Midway through MR the recruits stop for saloop. Polly notices the entwined hands of Tonker and Lofty. The response to her glance is not what she was expecting. This is one of the posibilities why that may be so.
Disclaimer: Terry Pratchett owns the characters and the world they live on. I am grateful for all the brilliant books and make no claims of ownership in any way.
She Holds My Hand: Triptych
Her curious glance is the match lighting ever-ready defensive fury.
Walls slam up, body language hardens
You glare; hackles up, offering fight.
The shout unspoken, yet she flinches.
Declaration of strength, of defended space.
She heeds the danger, steps back. (Ignore the quiet voice, swallow its cry)
You settle back, territory defended.
You will not call after her
For a moment you wonder if you could. Where might it end up? Would she help you?
What could you say?
A burning wish, that for one second you could wipe that unblemished look from her eye and hurt her once, so deeply, that she would know what it was like to be you.
But you have self control
No interference with the innocent. It's one of the steadfast rules.
The broken must walk the world alone, wary not to jar the unknowing.
You let her go.
How would you explain?
The words you need are trapped in a prior life, before you were taught a harsher way to live.
Confined now by inability to show weakness.
To split open and roar frustration to the skies;
Fight and scream and vent the rage inside.
If you could, what would you say?
That it is only the clasp of her hand that keeps you in the present.
To explain to someone, anyone, how it is to live in this hell of jumbled up memories and feelings. To be so haunted by the past that you are unable to see the present and have not the capacity to even contemplate the existence of a future.
And all of the time you are afraid.
Not of Them. The things that They do to us can no longer hurt us. That well is dry. But that she would leave me. That I would lose her, somehow, somewhere, to the fire, to the war, to someone else.
And there would only be me.
No hand to hold me to the present, to the now. To bring me back from the swirling waters that threaten to carry me away.
To say: here and now, we are alive.
She holds my hand, and I will cling on to the end of my days.
(Don't let me go…)
You hold her hand
You are lost in the darkness. Locked in. Shut down.
You can feel her frustration at your inability to function, but it is removed from you, beating feebly against your walls.
You know she helps you, guides you, is you.
You wish you could help but the tide sweeps you away.
You fight for enough control to hold her hand
The demons that plague her will not have her. She is yours.
You cannot find her in the fog and everything is nothing, but she is yours and they will not have her.
This thing you can do.
You hold her hand.