Knowing by Susan Patterson
I was chatting with a long time, but not
Intimate friend. I extended my usual
Asking of the family. This one time she
Spoke, without constraint.
She told of grown children, still not grown, of
Broken marriages, of debt and
Desperation. Illness of mind.
Pain lasting decades.
Pain, not always hers, but that which she
Witnessed to the point to taking on.
And she told of supplying aid, but
To no avail.
So soft and in such short words, she spoke,
There was no need to elaborate.
I knew. I knew in my own world.
I knew and could only utter a low, almost inaudible
Response, ‘Yeh.’ ‘Yeh.’ my mouth hardly moving.
A dialogue in monotone.
There we were two worn women, telling what didn’t need
To be told, but must be shared to be endured. We
Were in voice, barely a whisper, not looking at each other,
But in stares, out into the space of our ever-reaching time.
‘Yeh’, I murmured.
Then she took charge, as each of us must do.
She talked of music recitals, of meal preparations,
Of waiting for the future. And she went on her way.
And I went on mine.
Susan Patterson: http://www.susanpatterson-author.com/causerie-blog.html