You Have to Be Careful
by Naomi Shihab Nye
You have to be careful telling things.
Some ears are tunnels.
Your words will go in and get lost in the dark.
Some ears are flat pans like the miners used
Looking for gold.
What you say will be washed out with the stones.
You look a long time till you find the right ears.
Till then, there are birds and lamps to be spoken to,
A patient cloth rubbing shine in circles,
And the slow, gradually growing possibility
That when you find such ears,
They already know.
Submitted by Ruth Baxendale