I’m “Hear” for You

I’ve never shared the elevator with another person in all the weeks I’ve been coming to help her. It has a musty, stagnant odor like most of them do, I suppose from mostly being shut tight while waiting for passengers. The worn carpeting probably doesn’t help either. Only two floors up but I can’t help wondering—what if this thing stops between floors and I get stuck? I eye the notice with instructions to call 911 in case of emergency. Ok, I have my phone, can do that. Hope help arrives quickly and I don’t go into a panic…

The doors open and I take a right and let myself into the first apartment where St. Francis stands guard on the porch. It’s dark and quiet…most likely she’s still in bed finishing her afternoon nap. I see that the sliding glass door is open and am thankful for the fresh air. The apartment smells of old age, illness and too many skipped showers. I reach her bedroom door that’s always open and see her small face haloed with white hair, layers of sheet, blanket, and comforter and her new favorite, fake, unidentifiable-animal-fur that her daughter sent for Christmas, pulled up under her chin. It’s soft as a bunny however and I’ve joked with her that it’s the perfect “pet”…no feeding or bathroom duties necessary. Careful not to startle her, I gently call her name and she quickly opens her eyes and asks…”is it that late already?”

Immediately she starts talking and pretty much doesn’t stop until I leave 2 ½ hours later. She tells me that she had a bad night…couldn’t sleep and her digestion is bothering her again. “Don’t know if I can eat, you know I don’t have an appetite anymore…I don’t care if I eat or not.” Her small, blue eyes look at me for sympathy and I give it to her. “I’m so sorry.” She changes the subject and points out her family members in frames scattered throughout the room. This son has two daughters who are successful and talented…and beautiful. This grandson now has a baby that I haven’t seen yet, and my daughter hasn’t visited me in almost 2 years. The stories have been repeated to me many times but I listen and nod and ask questions that I already know the answers to. She’s so happy and proud when speaking of her family.

We settle on a small, fresh salad with chicken strips on top with a balsamic vinegar dressing. I cut the strips into bite sized pieces. She finishes it all. Being a vegetarian, I hadn’t cooked meat in decades before agreeing to prepare her daily dinners. The chicken strips are pre-cooked and I just have to heat them up but the turkey burgers that she likes are bloody and have a strong “animal” smell. Took some getting used to…

Victoria C. Slotto has a prompt at The Bardo Group asking writers to integrate the senses in our writings: http://intothebardo.wordpress.com/2014/02/26/common-senses-writers-wednesday/#comment-5749


Sounds in the house
day and night
are a source of fun
if you listen right.

Hear that kitty
scratch, scratch,
scratching?  Her claws
are sharpening to
do her catching. 

Listen to the washing
machine getting
clothes clean, splish,
splash, splish splashing
whirling and wringing.

The over head fan
is off its rocker so
makes an annoying
clink-clankle, clink-clankle
with each spin it takes. 

The dishwasher hums,
it’s pretty quiet,
except when the water
sprays about–pshhhhh,
pshhhhh, pshhhhh!

Just one quick
click in your ear,
somebody’s turned
on a light that’s near.

Oh, gosh what’s
the buzzing that
we’re hearing?  It’s the
kitchen timer saying
dinner’s nearing!

Water is running
in the sink
to add to soap to
make some bubbles.

Some break free
and float up high
popping gently,
quiet as can be. 

Now there’s a sweet
sound I love the best,
the sounds of laughter
like giggling bells!

Started out writing this as an entry for The Gooseberry Gardens children theme and realized that it would work for today’s dVerse Poets theme too–I love when that happens!

My entry for Gooseberry Gardens–Children’s Stories, Riddles, Counting Songs, and Rhyming Lyrics: http://gooseberrygoespoetic.blogspot.com/

And at dVerse Poets–Onomatopoeia: http://dversepoets.com/2012/01/07/onomato-poetics/

LISTENING: An Acrostic

Julian Treasure on Ted.com on listening:


Laudable is he who can listen with full attention.

Intrinsic is the need to connect with one another;

Sit in considerate silence when each other speaks.

Take the time to pay heed to surrounding sounds,

Engaging in active concentration and awareness while

Nurturing yourself in practicing absorbed interest.

Indulge in the meditation of the resonance that IS,

Nourishing mindfulness that supports your being and

Garners conscious discernment along the way.

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