I started to write this one when I first saw this photo on Facebook. I did some research to find the true name of the mountain and then wrote down a few lines. Then I saw Eugenia’s weekly prompt was “fairy” and things took off from there.
UPDATE– However, the fact checkers did not have all the facts when I checked, and it seems I was duped. Fact checkers I used (and I used several) only had the name of the mountain as being incorrect, and they all agreed that this was a drone image. However, it seems they have been updated and the image is really the digital work of an artist named Jean-Michel Bihorel. Thank you to Susi Blocks who brought this to my attention. I may remove the post entirely but I will take a minute to think about that.
My lessons in listening: To a mother’s final words— Always remember I loved you and was proud Tossed off, too rushed to leave work To get to the hospital, to see her, Always thinking of more days, time. Not thinking all I’d see, Her dead eyes.
To all my dogs– little tells Of cocked heads, whines, barks, The ways of wagging tails, To know what meant what– Hunger, pain, desire to play, A need for love or to go outside. Those I’ve always learned well.
To students, the teens I taught, A puzzle to figure of pieces and placement What each meant for each— The lift of a shoulder, how the eyes met or did not meet mine, The head upon the desk, the work done or not, The things said, not said— To figure needs- Some basic, some not so, Requiring other safety nets, Bruised and broken, Some I could help repair. I knew what to listen for, Almost by instinct, Since I had not been listened to When I was one of them.
To my child, a whirlwind of cries, Hunger, diaper, cold, hot, sick— Each cry different A knowing, animal instinct, Some primal thing beating Inside knew the way Of my infant’s need. When a teen— A different thing, A new species of need, My animal and her animal Had no common language Of smells, signals, or cries In the darkened tunnels We went through.
To my dying wife, my dying wife— So hard to listen to, to understand a language no longer including My daughter or me. Never knowing for whom The last coma spoken words– I’m sorry, so sorry— Were spoken.
Now, I learn the final lesson of listening, A lesson sixty years in the learning,
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