Touched back 3


Touched Back
copyright then & 2010 by Candelaria Silva


Brothers, 
when I touch you
I’m trying to communicate the feeling.

Black man,
when I touch you
I want to be touched back.



  I wrote this short poem when I was 17.  In those days, I wrote poetry every day.  I would walk into ideas, breathe in images, stir feelings, whip myself into a frenzy over household and political injustices, pine for this boy or the other to notice me, etcetera.

What did I know when I wrote this poem?  Nothing much really. 

Now I know.



  • I know about reaching out to someone – through words, a look, an offering, a smile,

  • I know about longing to bridge distance, to thaw the chill, to ignite interest.

  • I know about how things slide, are delayed, and tilt.

  • I know how easy it is to let go instead of embracing and calling forth.

Touch back.  Touch back.  Touch.


About Candelaria Silva

Candelaria Silva-Collins is a marketing, community outreach and programming consultant; writer; and trainer/facilitator who lives in Boston, Massachusetts. She has designed and facilitated workshops on a wide variety of topics including communication, facilitation, job search skills, team building, and parenting issues. She currently coordinates the Community Membership Program of the Huntington Theatre Company. Her work as Director of ACT Roxbury was profiled in several publications, including The Creative Communities Builders Handbook. Candelaria’s children’s stories, short stories, essays and reviews have been published in local and national publications and she is an active blogger. Her publications include the booklets, Handling Rejection; Pushing through Shyness: Networking Tips when You’re Shy, Slow to Warm Up or Just don’t Feel you Belong; and Real Questions about Sex & Relationships for Teens: A Discussion Guide for Parents. She has served on the boards of Goddard College, Wheelock Family Theatre, Boston Foundation for Architecture, and Discover Roxbury. She is currently Chair, Designators of the Henderson Foundation.

Leave a Reply to Wendy Ellertson Cancel reply

3 thoughts on “Touched back