In January, 2001, I was
walking the treadmill when something
on the left side of my neck and head
went "click" and I have
been deaf in my left ear ever since.
What you never really know
about your hearing, until it is lost,
is just how much of it tells you where you are.
To not have perfect hearing in both ears
is to always be just a little "lost".

The poem below is in reference to something that happened to me
right after losing my hearing. Because of the vertigo associated with
the loss, I was forced to "look down" always. (it was the only way
to keep my balance.)
One day it was raining and when I got out of the car at the B P station, there
was a cat's eye marble swirling in the gutter.  I picked it up. I still have it. I think that I will always keep it. It is a reminder to me of the 10 months
that I spent "looking down".


"Cat's Eye In The Rain & Losing My Hearing"

Do you know what I am?
I am the broken sky that I have become:
a forty-one year old woman
watching the concrete for signs,
searching the rushing gutters
for torrents,
for remnant pieces I previously dismissed as trash,
for bubbling, gurgling, swirling,
surface rising eys to snatch a look around,

to see if something, anything
is salvageable in these days of rain.

I know I should leave this marble here.
That maybe some skinny legged little boy is
coming back right now
to this very spot,
to this last place remembered with the treasure
in his pocket,
to hope and maybe find.

"Have you ever lost something?" echos in my skull.
(at least the right side of my skull.)
It was here and then not,
and how plain it is to me now-although lost
is lost
and missed
and mourned,
the greatest loss is the losing itself.

The Injustice Of The Robbery!
(that a thief, or Satan,
or rain falling on the just and the unjust could or would
stealth into my sleeping room
to watch me, the victim dream,
rub their hands along my bed post,
open my drawers,
try on my jewelry.)

(So loud are the awful war cries of the women
waking to discover the enemy has been in the camp
during the night
and stolen what was most valuable: THE TRUST!)

TRUST that all is right,
that I can close my eyes without keeping watch.
Never again
is my rest without listening
for breaking twigs,
barking dogs,
clanking cans on strings,
for any warnings: even the small and disjointed ones.