Monday 17 November 2014

The First Time I Wore Hearing Aids


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 
except yourself.

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