May 3, 2021

I tell them that I am going deaf.

Let’s meet in the field tonight; you walk in from one side and I will walk in from the other. Come summer, the field will be filled with sunflowers, or maybe tomatoes. Tonight? Just you and me, joining hands. Friends. 


Do our ears keep growing as we age? 

Seems so. 

How is it that a thing gets larger 

And yet it is weaker? 

How I love to hear the birds -- 

An owl in an oak with a soft hoot.

Geese flying overhead - they always sound

Like old people arguing.

My own birds in their cages as they chatter

Along with music from the radio. 

And the sounds of the wind! Lovely.

A train air horn at night.

The giggle of a child.

I will miss all that.

Every year these ears worsen. 

More than that; every month. 

People don’t seem to believe me

When I tell them that I am going deaf.

Perhaps my laugh is so large

Or my embrace is so bear-like

That such a thing doesn’t seem possible.

Sometimes I just pretend to hear people.

The soft speakers. 

I am an actor! At meetings 

I miss a lot. Too much.

Around the house my wife startles me

Constantly. I don’t hear her 

Walking up behind me, 

And then she’ll speak, loudly

So I’ll hear her, and I jump. 

Or I won’t know she is there

And she’ll close a closet door sharply.

It’s like having a ghost grab me!

I am moving through my mid sixties.

This will only get worse,

And the price of a decent hearing aid?

….I am but a poor poet.

Oh, sweet sounds.

Waves lapping the rocks on the shore.

Thunder across the valley, like a rocket launch.

The whimper of a puppy. 

The sigh of a woman. 

Sandpaper on wood. 

I will miss these things.

As I move into the silence.



Ren Powell

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HOOT, a monthly literary magazine on a postcard

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VIA NEGATIVA, purveyors of fine poetry since 2003


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