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Going Deaf, a poem by Mary M. Brown

Going Deaf
by Mary M. Brown

For a while it’s mostly bliss,
swimming a lovely, negotiable
lake, the hush of small fish,

or like resting inside a shell,
a turtle, a nutmeat, a swaddled
babe, pacified and riding

the sweet blurry line between
stillness and sleep. But later
you wonder whether the lake

is a roiling ocean you are
alone in with sharks, other
predators, and water pressure

or a kind of padded cell, you
the slow prisoner who wonders
if anyone else will show up

to bring you poetry or mass or
whatever you yearn for—a bible,
cigarettes, kisses, a knife in a cake.

About the poet: Mary M. Brown lives with her husband, Bill, in Anderson, Indiana. She’s a Hoosier not by birth but by long residence and disposition, and she enjoys proximity to all six of her grandchildren. Retired now, she taught literature and creative writing at Indiana Wesleyan for many years. Her work appears on the Poetry Foundation and the American Life in Poetry websites and has been published recently in Christian Century, The Cresset, Quiddity, Flying Island, and Justice Journal.