Friday, May 01, 2020

Poem During the Plague: Poem 27

 Mary Esther Rohman

Mary Esther Rohman received her Doctorate of Philosophy from Brandeis University.  She works on the Call 2 Talk helpline as a volunteer after retiring from the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission in 2013.  Rohman helps people struggling with the effects of COVID-19 and other problems.  She also writes poetry and is a practicing Buddhist.


By Mary Esther Rohman

The first time in 5 years
I’ve forcibly been away
From the spiritual field that sustains me.
Only two weeks now, but the hurt of not answering the phones
Has left me empty and vulnerable.

All I say when the phone rings is “Call2Talk, I’m here to listen”
Then I proceed to do just that.
Usually, all hell breaks loose:
Miracles and disasters,
Anger and tears,
Laughter and awe,
Frustration and lies,
Truth and bravery,
Praise and blame,
Connection and misunderstanding.

But no matter how it goes,
It is always a miracle
That someone decides to trust a stranger
With the stuff that is breaking their heart.
And that stranger is me.
I’m awed by their trust
That I will always react with compassion
(No matter what I really think)
And love them
The way they really need to be loved.
Right now.

Compassion flows through me,
The best feeling in the world.
I volunteer this experience
Out of a need to be human.
And to remind everyone
That we are all part of a whole.
We owe each other all the kindness we can muster.
Especially now, when we truly hold each other’s lives in our hands.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, beautifully described, what we always should be about. Bridget