Listen Up | Madison Potter

Listen up,

If you’re hard of hearing,

Lean closer.

Listen louder.

Because I’m often soft-spoken.

But maybe today,

Maybe for once,

You’ll have to retreat back

and let your eardrums coil.

You’ll have to gaze up at me

in mystery,

in confusion and wonder,

“Is she mad at me?”

I sit in silence yet again.

I wonder, wait, and groan in my head,

“Fuck this.”

or

“Never again.”

But I always find myself back in that familiar creek,

dampening my knees and hoping to god that this time you’ll actually hear me.

I keep going out further

connecting with the current

and slipping along the algae-caked rocks.

But I trek along anyway

because you are a part of me;

because I’m naive just like you;

because I’m your daughter;

What else am I to do?

You hear nothing but I tell you everything,

and at some point the luxury of murmurs you take for granted

slowly fades into an absence.

You look up from your end of the table,

from your side of the creek,

But there’s nothing there.

There’s nobody waiting for you.

Nothing but a foggy clearing

with some loose lichen dangling from trees,

waving me off in the distance.

So can you hear me now?

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