Early there were murmurs of adults
reading stories to each other-
near the warm kitchen stove,
grandparents, father, mother.
In summer came the chirps of cricket song,
and wind in pines made whistling sound.
Greenfield added rumbling trains
as raucous city noises would abound.
In teen years I heard music of my peers
the stuff my mother could not love-
and I came to know choral hymns
telling us of God above.
In nursing I heard anguished moans of pain,
from terminal patients unrelieved.
Their doctors’ fear of making addicts
was not to be believed.
In motherhood I cherished tiny sounds
of newborn infants’ little cries,
and when I held and nursed them,
there were gentle happy sighs.
In all the years my kids were growing up,
their noise of living filled my every day,
laughing, joking, squabbling, yelling-
my children went on their way.
Inevitably, declining times have come,
and lesser sounds are falling on my ears.
Cicadas, crickets, hoots, and howls
serenade me through the years.