Listen, a Poem

Updated on January 26, 2018
Sandra Zuidema profile image

Sandra is an English-Creative Writing major. She spends half of her time in Naples and half in Detroit, her favorite hip comeback city.

Listen, by Sandra Zuidema


You'll never know unless you do.

As a baby, you were a master, a genius

of discernment. Two tender ears devoted

to vibrations and harmony and noise.


They twitch when the Blue Jay sings.

Warbling its perch it beckons a mate

to nestle deep in the pine that stands

outside your nursery window.

The response, faint and far, unheard

the Blue Jay caught another—a

worm in the morning dew,

two lovers never meet.


Every day your mother sings

a lullaby and whispers, "I love you."

Your sleep capped eyes pulse

a drumbeat of your heartbeat.

Its symphony builds an affinity then

pours down over your head

thick as honey, warm and devouring.


Alarm! The never-ending buzz of electric jolts

trickle up your spine, the vibration dances

on the nightstand near your head,

the bird flies away as mother clanks in the kitchen,

she packs your lunch box with a note.

Santa had his list; he still asked what you wanted.

You unwrapped a video game that year.

Your eyes never blinked. T-shirt crept to

touch your earlobes, and tongue dams the drool,

which collected for hours on end.


The final blow came with earbuds

finishing off your weaning,

they ended childhood dreams.

It's been a lifetime since quiet walks through woods.

Twigs crackling underfoot

as dew drips from the tips of waving leaves,

each drop like a metronome tempo

slowly moving side to side.


YouTube has a video of a deaf girl;

they activate her Cochlear implant.

Before this point, she never heard her father's voice.

Then he speaks to her.

At first, she opens her eyes wide and smiles;

then she sobs.


Outside, the unknown comes inside,

now known it is always whispering.

Earbuds in and fingers flying

you are deaf and alone.

Unable to hear

mother whispers, "I love you."

© 2018 Sandra Zuidema

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    • PoeticApparatus profile image

      Bella Marie Poetry 

      8 months ago from Missouri City

      This is so true and so sad! It makes me appreciate my mother even more. I love it!

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