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How many times
did you hear it?
Softly (at first),
then, progressively more
strident, persistent,

But—you weren’t ready.

Instead, you climbed
Lists, appointments, deadlines
meetings, plans,
If you got far enough away,
You couldn’t hear.

Nights, though, brought
silence so sharp
you cut yourself.
And staunched the bleeding
with deep goblets of wine
numbing and carrying
you away.

Only to wake:
splintered, raw, fuzzy
because you knew
today was another day
And you hadn’t listened.

You kept on.

Day after day
night after night
nothing changed
and no one came.

Sick, exhausted, beaten,
at last—
you relented.
And remembered.

Knowing finally
The time had come to begin.

Heather Shaff

Heather is a book designer based in Boston who, when she’s not writing or taking care of the fam, can be found racing her bike, enjoying nature, or just daydreaming.

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