The Listener

by Lucy Brennan

I watch the sky.
I am an expert on skies.
Every morning I open my eyes
on a square of window.
How I look forward to the sun’s rising!
First, there is a lightening in the darkness.
Then there are grey wisps floating
and the dark mass takes on outline
that sharpens by the second.
I know it is the hill
that runs out of sight past the window frame.
What colour will it be this morning?
Day following day
nothing is every repeated.
I have been here sixteen years
and I have never seen
two clouds that are the same,
never two dawns alike.

I listen.
I listen a lot
for often though I try hard
I cannot speak what I want to say.
I know those around me
better than they know themselves.
Some days I get angry
when someone looks after me
but forgets that I
am here!

Some people talk to me.
There are days
when they are full of troubles
and others when they are happy
and they tell me why:
maybe their child spoke its first word,
or their husband’s kiss
was special; who knows,
it is always a different reason
and those who tell me about it
are made happy again in the telling.

I want so much
to talk as they talk
and make gestures that are not
like the arms of windmills.
Do they know that their joy
and even their told pain
take me out of my torn self,
make me feel that I am, after all,
of immense value,
that my life is worth living,
not only for myself
but for them.

— from Juniper Volume 1, Issue 2