Poetry

By Evelyn Dodge Cockrell


She Listened

She listened when you spoke to her,
tuning into your heart and mind,
comprehending the unspoken thoughts
that others wouldn’t find.
Then knowing the kindest words to say
(her depth of thoughtfulness is rare),
She softly spoke and let you know
that someone really cared.
It was always good to talk with her.
She told no troubles of her own,
but listened while her friends
shared theirs, in person or by phone.
One day I went to visit her
(Oh the sad, sad look I wore).
We were laughing as we said good-bye.
I kissed her at the door.
Then for a single moment
(it came as a surprise),
I looked beyond the laughter
and saw the sorrow in her eyes.

To My Visiting Teachers

I’m glad you came, my friends.
Today was not a day marked on my calendar
in red—or black.
It was just a day.
Until you came.
You came to me
and I was all I had for you to see.
My props and backdrops, even my supporting actors
were somehow unimportant on the scene:
Just you. Just me. We three
in good companionship.
Or maybe, yes, I’m sure, there was another
who talked and laughed and felt with us.
Because, here now, behind the door
that I just closed
as you two touched my arm and said
you’d come again
the day is new
and I’m not alone at all.

[photo] Photography by Steve Bunderson