Listen. Tell.


Late Saturday afternoon

and I walk out onto the solitary country road.

The sky has cleared,

no clouds and the wind bears down

on us from the northwest

and on that wind out of that clear sky

over the fields and trees I finally get a sense

of the world, the whole world, the whole whole world

as I had forgotten it – as if wind

is blowing across every surface,

through every tree, mountain pass,

across every dessert and ocean.

And every wall.


The great thumb of sadness

presses itself onto my little heart.

My chest swells, a rasp runs up my throat to find a way out

through gasp and spit. There is no one

to hear the sound it makes.

I take a breath and call to the frogs and ducks in the ditch.

I have to tell them we are sick, we have brought illness

upon ourselves.

I know what you mean, they say,

we tried to tell you.

And now the trees are listening too

(like they don’t ever listen), and they lean in

to comfort me. We’ve known for a long time

say the birds, half heartedly, at the bird feeder.


But the whole world I say, like one insignificant marble

dropping on the kitchen floor. So small, so very, very small. It could

roll behind the fridge.

We tried to tell you said the trees and the bees,

but you wouldn’t listen. We asked the wind to help

but still you wouldn’t listen. And now you know sad,

and we hate to see you sad.


I collapse

into my soul, sadness has nowhere to go, nothing to offer. There are too many faces

telling me to resign, surrender, fight, protest, rebel, deny, accept. The curve

is now a wave that sweeps up my soul off the ground, my feet

into the air, and lifts me, where there is nothing to touch or hold onto.

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