The first time I wore hearing aids
Stepping out of Saint Bartholomew
Hospital. I heard pigeon flapping
crowded city traffic avalanche my ears
like never before. If there was silence
behind any doors in my brain
they’d been unhinged. It is a miracle
that anyone can think in this volume of busy.
The first time I heard the bell on the bus,
I kept pushing it for every stop,
it vexed the bus driver
but I was a child
playing with sound.
First day at school,
Kieran saw my hearing aids
and asked if I was a secret agent,
I said yes, my ears are investigators
of missing sounds.
I can still hear
Miss Williams taking register.
every present syllable in Ray-mo-nd-Ant-ro-bus
was a silent prayers for absence.
When Dominick asked if support teachers
sit with me in class because I’m stupid,
I wished I said something smart
to clarify my intelligence.
I wished I could trust my ears
to pick up the answers.
In speech therapy
I struggled with
pronouncing it con-fi-der.
The sound was too dense, too tuned out of frequency.
In the hearing aid repair clinic
The TV is always on mute – Or is it?
I turned off my hearing aids
to write this, because sometimes,
hearing aids make you hear everything