[Poem Request #8]
Are you there?
The question like a doorbell
hanging in the air.
A thing to ask a difficult pupil
or God, if God were a telephone line,
shouting "Are you there? Can you hear me?"
when what you really want to know is:
"Will you listen?"
Are you there? you ask.
But do not specify where there is.
Where is the line between caring and presence?
Answer and echo?
What does being there mean
when absence makes the heart grow fonder
and the troubled mind is occupied?
The real turns out be a dream
and the nightmare has a way of coming true.
The look in your lover's eyes tells you
he has been somewhere else.
But do you care?
I shall go wherever my daydreams lead me
or the sleeping pills,
or the drowning air.
Call me how you will,
say that you need me -
I will be