The Woman Who Listens



Oh, the sun is burning up the sky

turning it white under smoke heavy air.

Crackling tree bark keens but no one listens.

It’s just another “burn.”


I am a woman who listens.


Twilight lays down her starry blanket.

A half moon floats through the sky.

Desert air turns cool.

The Canyon towhee and white crowned sparrow

Converse, quenching thirst at a shallow well.


I am a woman who listens



dive and climb, wildly whirring wings

speak to a multitude of avian presences.

Fierce and vulnerable in the extreme,

humming and buzzing they call my name.


I am a woman who listens…


A long guttural trill breaks the silence.

He sounds like a tree frog!

Is he singing a song for his lady,

under sun warmed stones?

A desert oasis is a holy place,

for a woman who listens.


Working notes:

Yesterday, the sun was fierce and the air thick with smoke that didn’t clear until twilight. I ached for burning trees. It was so hot that I went for a dip in the river. And then after dark I heard him singing from the little pond. I don’t know what kind of frog sounds that long guttural trill but just knowing that he was out there singing allowed me to sleep.

4 thoughts on “The Woman Who Listens

  1. Normally croaking of the frogs in India are timed just before arrival of the rains, so we know it is courting time for them and monsoon time for us. The village is full of them and then you have to be wary of the snakes that pounce on them while you walk in the dark.
    As for this beautiful poem I wish to conclude that you are a woman who not only listens but cares too.
    Have a good day Sara.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Sunith I did so enjoy your comment – and yes where I come from the frogs often sing before rain. Here in the desert not so much – although it rained around us somewhere today because In the desert you can see forever!

      Liked by 1 person

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