The Translator


The talk after dinner didn’t go well.
Maybe you’ve had one of these maddening conversations
where what is said and what is heard
could use a gifted translator.
So, my son left first thing in the morning
without saying I’m sorry,
without saying goodbye,
without saying anything.

I’m standing at the kitchen sink now,
watching everything
go down the drain,
tossing questions out to God,
who remains silent, as usual.

How I wish in this moment
I could hear
a still, small voice or
a very loud, precise one.

Instead, the dog comes to my side,
pushing his wet nose into my hand,
eyes smiling, tail wagging.
I am here, I am here, I am here.

-Joell Stebelton

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