"Hello" "Hello" "Hello"
Fine, thank you. And you? Does anyone ever phone
or write or otherwise communicate
From a position of health? When I have called you and you,
and there is a note of expectation
On the other end as if you are waiting for the bad news
or bad mood and I say no it is not so
I am just calling to say Hello…I lie; you know it.
Why do I have to lie? Why can’t I tell you?
Yes, I am desperate, yes I am lonely, and yes I need you,
want to hear your voice, want to feel
I am still alive because you respond and tell me so.
Why do we lie to each other and tell our good news
And lie our great successes when what we really want
to do is cry, cry for our own losses
And each others'; cry for moments unrevealed,
cry for our own lives slipping away from us,
That knowledge of the impermanence of our own voices
saying Hello. How are You? I’m Fine.
Don’t ever believe it. The phone ringing is a sign of crisis.
No one in his right mind was ever fine.
The hands and voices that reach out to be touched,
the minds stretching out this very moment
To be caressed know what I say is true,
yet they cannot admit it. We must be strong,
We must be tough, we must be optimistic,
we must deny our sicknesses, we must deny our needs,
We must deny our pains. Some people I love
are freezing into awkward poses of health.
They are afraid to admit what they know. They need,
they need, but they don’t know how to say.
And yes, I do it too, Hello. Fine, Thank You.
And You? And You? And You?
We are dying, and we don’t know what to say.
But if you ever asked me if I thought or said or wrote this,
I would say no, I would say Hello.
Poem: Kay Weeks
Drawing: Margaret Scott
Posted on 11.9.11