Monday, February 12, 2018

Van Gogh's ear

Upon return from your day away,
sparkling with the aftershocks of adventure,
you're eager to share, and so I sit beside you,
smiling at the photos and the look upon your face,
the tales of who you saw and what you learned.

I really care, and am delighted
by the starriness of your energy,
yet through it all some part of me
is bubbling merrily just below
the surface of my smiles,
an effervescent energy that wants to shout,
"But look at me, what happened to me,
in the time while you were gone!"
despite the fact that I've already shared,
already said it all in just two sentences,
yet still it simmers there, whispering,
"Yes, but ME, yes but ME!
Is not what happened to me equally amazing?"

I pat the buoyant energy down,
and smile, a smile for you that's fueled
by the smile for me that floats just underneath,
and wonder -- have I always been so self-absorbed?
Please tell me there've been times
when all of my attention
has been focused on someone other than myself,
or do we always, all of us,
listen with only one ear
while the other waits to cue the mouth
with what's itching to be said?
No wonder Van Gogh had to cut off his ear --
but which one did he remove?
The one that listens,
or the one that only hears? 

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