Reciprocity

I heard you speak
I heard you speak but couldn’t quite hear
You were mumbling and broke
Soaked by torments of storms
Frayed and torn
Doubled up like an old twenty shilling note

Your shoes were worn
Your hair dirtied and uncombed
You bore scars and wounds
In your arms and foot
And your dress spoke of better days long gone

I heard you cry
I heard you cry but didn’t come
You were swamped in a puddle of mud
Seated in the seat of the stunk
Chocking on a eulogy song

I listened

But I did not to act
I was stuck
For my heals had since dug
Trenches of resilience
Spilling with endless excuses
Restraining my heart
So it does not reach yours

I feared you would ask for too much
That it would take too much
What about me?
What about mine?
What about time
And what could become?

I couldn’t come
I couldn’t stay
So I built me a dome of deafness
And with bridled determination
Prevailed upon my conscience
Making you believe that you didn’t matter
That nothing mattered
That no one heard you
And so no one should answer

But I heard you
I heard you cry but did not care
Not enough to lift
A finger nor flare
No candle did I light
Nor brought it out into the night
And sit by your side
While you cry your pain out of sight

I know I heard you
I know I heard you because I caught my face
In the mirror
And recalled the scars and tears
Long sealed and cleared
By she who now calls for me.

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