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by Carla Jacobs

Listen closely.
You may be surprised at what you hear,
When you hold your tongue,
Settle your bustling mind.
Listen like you are the last person on earth,
Like a rabbit surrounded by open field,
Like a homeless man checking his lotto ticket he'd spent a whole day's earnings on,
Aware that their chances are a million to one.
Listen like your life depends on it.
Have a seat.
Imagine that you're sitting in an empty courtyard,
Like no one is watching you, judging,
Passing you by.
What do you hear?
Do you hear the love in the laughter?
The tears in the disappointment?
The stoic tapping of shoes from people trying to make their lives worth living?
Do you hear the pain and the suffering that we've chosen to ignore?
Do you hear it growing louder?
Do you hear its haunting symphony of voices shouting out in pain?
In sorrow?
In grief and regret?
Do you feel its gradual pull?
Or has it already sucked you in?