My Poem ‘The Good Listener’

I don’t know what it is about me…
Maybe it’s my face?
Maybe it’s my voice?
Maybe it’s my eyes?
Maybe it is my unimposing-demeanor, perhaps,
that draws people to me one-after-another,
like a firefly to candle-light?
I don’t know what it is,
but, for some reason, people believe
that with me and to me
they can allow whatever is on the tip of their tongue
and whatever is on their mind to be said and be set free.

I have lost count of the number of strangers,
who seemingly from out of nowhere,
have introduced themselves to me,
and have almost told me their entire life-story;
I have been sitting on a plane,
I have been sitting alone at a table in a cafe,
when more than one person has turned to me
and has told me their name –
and, not long after,
we have had a brief-but-meaningful conversation
that may have been the highlight of their day.

Questions… secrets…
questions like: what, to you, is the meaning of life?
secrets, like: how do I go home and be a real father
to my kids, and also be a true husband to my wife?

And in what form do I respond? And what is my response?
I listen. I let whomever it is who is talking to me be heard
and say aloud to me what they have not had the courage
to disclose and confess to anyone, before me, not once.

Just as I have always been a good reader of books,
I have always been a good reader of people, as well;
just as a book-cover captures and teases the inside of a book,
so does what a person wears and says out-loud
when they think that nobody is looking at them
and nobody is listening to them says a lot about someone –
not everything, of course, but there is still so much
from observing someone that you can tell.

A person’s consciousness has a lock to it,
just as every door has;
it is amazing the depths
and the number of levels that a person’s mind has;
everybody loves communicating what they are thinking
and how they are feeling, more so than they may know;
I have always said that anyone can be a writer –
in my opinion, to be a writer all you need to do
is open your heart, speak from your soul –
and the best way is to speak and to write
what you have been through, and what you know,
and watch the thoughts, the ideas,
and the words just flow.

They say that confession is good for the soul;
they say that when you fall in a hole
the best thing that can happen to you
is for someone to come along
who has been in the exact same position
and the exact same hole before
and who chooses to jump in the hole
you are in with you
because they know the way out;
I believe that sometimes
you have to lose something that you don’t need
to make yourself feel whole again;
I believe and I know that everyone in this life
deserves to be heard –
even those who do not exclusively
communicate with their mouths;
just as the choice to share something
to me shows that a person cares about something,
just as someone who is creative cares deeply about an idea –
I believe that the greatest thing that you can do in a day
is to listen to someone, and the best person you can be
to someone else is to a good listener.

TheGoodListener

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