You have to be careful telling things.

Some ears are tunnels.

Your words will go in and get lost in the dark.

Some ears are flat pans like the miners used

looking for gold.

What you say will be washed out with the stones.

You look a long time until you find the right ears.

Till then, there are birds and lamps to be spoken to,

a patient cloth rubbing shine in circles,

and the slow, gradually growing possibility

that when you find such ears,

they already know.

by Naomi Shihab Nye, The Yellow Glove, 1986

2 thoughts on “You Have To Be Careful

  1. Thank you Anna. It’s perfect, especially coming off a conversation about the preponderance of misunderstandings that can fly around a family…how children hear a few words, and their imagination fills in the rest of the story. And who knows what stories they are carrying around, that color their days and understanding of who they are?

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