When We Talk

this drawing was made by Susan Schell during my year-long training with her in Authentic Movement (1988)

There is much to say about talking.
I don’t know that much about it myself
Except that I have always been mystified
by the amount people say to each other,
and the little I can think of to say,
and that children born to me could ever
learn a language from the amount I talked
to them or anyone else.
My husband would come home and say
“You haven’t opened your mouth, have you?”
And I hadn’t, but I didn’t say anything.

I knew, I Knew, that hurt came from talk.
Love comes from glances and life shared,
not necessarily stories. Although I know they help.
I say I know but I only just know. It wasn’t always
so, but then I said that. No, I wrote it with my mouth closed.

The “words can never hurt me” was never true.
Not for me, not for a lot of people. One whole school
year when I was six I sat outside at recess
next to a tree. Another girl sat under the same tree. We
never sat together. I don’t know who she was.
But I feel comradeship with her,
As if we had talked and talked.



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