How many times have we asked a child,
or someone who is ill or alone,
"How are you?"
Their words say "fine",
But with our loss of hearing
We can get beyond the words
and see the face of sorrow,
eyes welling with tears,
and shoulders leaden with defeat.
Without sound, the season of fall
becomes truly amazing...
Color tapestries of gold, red, and orange
mixed with everpresent green.
Reach out and touch the barks of ancient trees,
and wonder who touched that same bark
centuries long buried under years of falling leaves.
Babies babble and delight us with their play,
and though we miss the noise they make,
Remember when cuddling a child to sleep
the smell of clean washed hair
and talcum powdered bottoms.
Smell the rain-freshened sky,
hay being harvested,
wood crackling in the fireplace.
Or grab a bough of pine needles,
pick up a ripe orange and stud it
with cloves to hang where you can
constantly be reminded to smell.
Taste everything you eat with enjoyment,
be aware that many people cannot
smell, so they cannot taste.
Be brave and find new things to try,
something hot, something sweet.
When at the ocean open your mouth and
inhale and taste the salt air.
Life should not end when one sense
fails, nor should it dictate
the fullness of our lives.
Only we can allow that to
happen if we choose not to appreciate
all the ways of experiencing this world.
As a toddler I climbed up Dad's legs to his chest,
To stand on his shoulders so he'd call me, "The Best."
I think often of brothers - Frank, Mark and Joe as akid,
And fondly recall some of the things that we did.
Take a bus with Mom to Newark Museum or Bronx Zoo,
Or a day trip to Olympic Park on Clinton Avenue.
We ended grammar school with a blast,
As I recall a few good friends from times past.
Joanne and Anthony are still close to me.
Together we navigated about a million crises.
Like the throng of students and the lady on a class tripto DC,
Whose dentures were replaced when we mowed her down,Golly!
I learned culture from Uncle Gerry when I was a teen,
Between the covers of his monthly Playboy Magazine.
Such fascinating articles, jokes and cartoons,
And ladies with anatomies, Va, Va, Va Voom!!!
"Too much of that will make you go blind," my mom said.
That's a silly old wives tale `cause I went deaf instead.
My life was adrift in my twenties it seemed,
Until I came upon the girl of my dreams.
Love struck like thunder, lightening and double pneumonia,
In less than a year I was married to Tonia.
And then came my children, first Frank then Hetty,
Such sweet music to be called, "Mommy and Daddy."
Family, Church, Career and Education filled my 30's and40's,
In the near endless pursuit of so many degrees.
How does one thank folks like Jim, Marika, Bill and Rhoda,
Stella and Steve, or Marietta and Costa?
My life is blessed with people off the top shelf,
Friends and family who love me in spite of myself.
So now that I've reached the half-century mark,
I wonder about the next journey upon which I'll embark.
Perseverance and faith took me to frontiers unknown,
But I need to reciprocate the love I've been shown.
The next phase of my life leaves me little time to be,
Just half the man whose shoulders once carried me.
No sounds of music fill the air
Nor sounds you hold so dear
But friend you will discover
There are other sounds to hear.
You'll find a world of talking hands
And hands that sing a song
You'll hear the sounds of silence
As we slowly walk along.
The sounds I hear are visible
Just listen with your heart
You'll find there's not much difference
Nor that we're worlds apart.
So friend if you are willing
To take that walk with me
Along the way you'll come to hear
The sounds that I can see!