By Joseph Hesch
Since the doc unlocked my ears
from decades of solitary confinement,
I’ve emerged into a world
I forgot existed and
hadn’t fully lived in.
Just over the trees,
I discover the distant rolling
of the highway. It’s my roiling surf,
shushed now and then by the windblown
prickly pines guarding
this museum of natural history.
The 18-wheel waves crash on and on,
and quieting them must be like
pacifying the Atlantic.
Now I hear the crows,
black commas punctuating fields
and their cawing dialogue
with the songbirds’ trills.
A herd of boys hollering a game of soccer
edits those exchanges, deleting
the avian speech and replacing it with
ill-fitting, awkward profanity.
All I’ve missed because of my deafness
overwhelms me now, like I’m one
of those trapped miners
reborn into the harsh brightness of day.
I wonder if all this time I spent
in the muffling shadows
made me invisible to you and the world
because I couldn’t hear it and
couldn’t understand you.