Conversation Poetry

At lunch time I sit in my office with door closed, a respite from constant presence of these bodies who are living in this place for a season. The door shuts out the noise–not the soundful kind–but the soulful kind.

I breathe deeply…close eyes and feel this sanctuary.

Sometimes this job hurts. If I allow it, sinks deep in my skin, won’t wash off even after days go by.

But today, I am trying to listen through the walls…close my clinical ear and open the one that hears deeper.

These things I hear as patients begin to mill into the gym outside my door:

…four more times now…”
“…she’ll make you work, she will…”
“…I want to see if you’ll correct yourself, if you stumble…”
“…it’s a wild one!”
“…it’s just a balloon, not like you’re throwing a bowling ball…”
“…wait, wait, wait!”
“…good save, good save…”
“…you started to, you know…go. But you corrected your balance, and that’s what I want to see…”
“…I have trouble sitting…”
“…you gotta worry about something, don’t you? It’s like my sister, if something goes right she always has to worry about something else.”

These snippets of conversation drift in, broken by each other, as a multitude of therapists interact one on one with their patients.

And I feel the rhythm of these bodies moving together– seeking to heal, seeking to hear.

Healing Hands

I wanted
to see
if you
will correct yourself
if you stumble…

so I take
your emotions
and hold them in my hands
turn them round
and round
try them out
with your blessing.

You say.
she always has to worry
about something.

It’s just a balloon—
not like
you’re throwing
a bowling ball.

Don’t hold on
so tight.
It’s not that heavy.
It’s only life.

I wanted
to see
if you
correct yourself
if you stumble.

That’s what
I want
to see.

Go over here and visit L.L. to find what this poetry prompt is all about…

or try on this one for size…


  1. says

    Laura, here I am again…as usual here…opening my mouth to speak (or rather, positioning my fingers to type) and greeting myself with silence. Usually I give up and promise myself the next time I’ll know how to articulate what your words stir up in me.

    This is beautiful.

    I’ll have to leave it at that.

  2. says


    WOW…so much truth in the visual of our worries/anxieties as balloons instead of bowling balls. To allow them to be light and drift off to never come back, instead of weighing us down and holding us back.

    Loved this!!! And you!


  3. says

    Laura, I was thinking of you yesterday. How you are growing into this poetry thing… how you are taking us with you, opening a new part of yourself that in turn opens us.

    I loved the repetition of the “I wanted to see…” phrase. By the second time, it had gained a new power. But most, I think, I liked this…

    “Don’t hold on
    so tight.
    It’s not that heavy.
    It’s only life.”

  4. says

    I loved this. I may not be a therapist of sorts, but I love to listen to the conversations of others when geography places me within ear shot. It’s amazing how you strung all these together and made such a beautiful post. I loved this.

  5. says

    Hi there Laura!
    I just wanted to say how much I loved how you crafted this conversation into a poem!

    I love to write poems, but I really am not able to do them, unless God really gives them to me.

    Today, well, one just “happened” to fall together as I was writing my most recent post. (yeah right… God given for sure) and was something different than I have ever done before.

    Thought you would like to see.

    God bless, and keep writing! I love these poems. I come over as soon as I see you have written a post!

  6. says

    Laura, I’m missing you!! Tonight I shut my door and shut out the soulful noise but not the soundful kind. I pray summer and life finds you landing softly.

  7. says

    funny, this poetry thing. I write it as random thoughts or questions or feelings, but don’t usually read poetry books or websites etc.
    this has been food for the soul… sharing in the words of good people. thank you

  8. says

    i’m thinking about how much is spoken that is not really listened to. poetry helps with listening. that’s a good thing.

    i’m glad that your listening is poem-making.

  9. says

    Wonderful truth in those words! This line: “close my clinical ear and open the one that hears deeper” from your introduction made me think, “Can clinicians ever separate the two? And, what happens if we can’t?” The poem you wrote in response to the conversations you heard reveals a melding of your counselors heart with the clinical side of helping others become well.

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