• Jan Avellana

I Listened to Myself

And heard the birds

I heard my a Daddy calling my name once more,

“Jan-Jan!” he bellowed, and laughed in a roar.

I heard the sound

of my newborn baby screaming for milk

and my body replied with weeping nipples,

drenching my new silk shirt.

I listened to myself

And heard the boys at 5 and 7,

one on the toilet,

one at the bathroom door,

doing dialogue from the movie Up.

I heard the girl inside me say

"It’s still not too late to say all the things you came here to say."

but she also said, "Hurry it up."

I listened to myself 

and gave a nod to the low growl

of that old black dog Shadow,

who has followed me all of my days and insomnia filled nights,

and I heard him say,

“I am your protector,

your pocket full of sorrow,

the place where it’s safe to store wishes for another day,

the emptiness you can hide yourself inside

when it gets too scary in the light,

I am your pulled hem,

reminding you

of you."

I listened to myself,

and heard the steady breath of my husband,

I heard my life sing—

even the sad parts that usually only sob,

had a few giggles to give

when I listened to myself.