Who spoke,
who listened,
you could never be sure.

Often you heard
what you preferred not to;
neighbors’ complaints, gossip,
muffled voices of illicit love.

If you lost connection,
your static signaled.
After a blizzard,
if the line was silent for long
Claude or Jimmy Joe drove up your steep driveway
stenciling the new snow with tire chains.

Most days in that house,
the line quiet but not dead,
you waited to be heard
not just accounted for.


Leisha Douglas is a professional psychotherapist and part-time yoga teacher, who is blessed to help others in their deeply intimate, personal explorations. She has worked in a private psychotherapy practice for over twenty-five years. From 2001 to 2010, she co-directed the Katonah Poetry Series with former Poet Laureate Billy Collins; she currently serves as poetry consultant to the series committee. Her poems and stories have appeared in The Alembic, Big Muddy, Corium Magazine, The Cortland Review, Crack the Spine, decomP, Forge, and The Minetta Review as well as others.