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Listen Poem

Do you hear Me
among all this noise?

No, Father, where would I hear you?

Listen.

I hear
News roar
Ambulances bellow
Cars bump over asphalt
Dogs bark.

I can’t hear you;

Listen hard.

I hear
A toddler scream as
He throws his fifth tantrum that day.
The single mother sighs and wrings her hands.

I can’t hear you;

Listen harder.

I hear
a homeless woman shuffle
Clutching her belongings in two pillowcases
The gate bangs shut

I can’t hear you;

Listen close.

I hear
Tears slide down a face
Etched with wrinkles from age
Sitting all alone in his house

I still can’t hear you;

Listen closely.

I hear
The sound of two hands
Holding each other
(One healthy and one pale).
The pulse in the second pauses and fades
He wishes he could see everyone one last time.

I still can’t hear you;

Listen deeply.

I hear
spring come to life.
Birds sing
Cherry blossoms wave in the wind
Foliage unfurls to the sun
Ants skitter on the ground

Do you hear Me now?

No, Lord, I still can’t hear you;

My child, listen deeper still
And you will hear my gentle whisper within it all.

By Ruth Ann Bos ’21


The poem was inspired by the Bible verse 1 Kings 19:11-13:

“The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.”