A tragic habitual failure.
Otherwise smart and articulate
Listening to form a reply or joke
No disrespect intended, I interrupt.
Even if I don’t, no longer hearing
Leaping from first words to answers
I presume to know what will be said.
I am often wrong and disrespectful
In finding that out.

Some are patient. Wait till I am done
Finishing the half said or asked
Interruption being habit,
I joke past wrong conclusions
Or clarify, “I meant to say…”
Needing forgiveness after every conversation.

Those without tolerance, anger.
They have neither the time or inclination.
Tersely concluded, a worthless conversation.
Innocent as an idiot, I helplessly watch me
Dismissed and deemed irrelevant in their eyes.
Listening, the way I do it, is hard on your heart.

Have you ever known a truly great listener?
Undivided attention, given freely
No glances at phones.TV turned off or tuned out.
Listening with all their might,
They look right into your face.
As if your eyes will help them hear
Waiting for what you have to say/

Nodding encouragement,
Your words are all that matters,
Responding only after you finish.
Their questions are open, insightful and clarifying,
Making sure and understanding every word.
It seems simple and feels wonderful.
Why can’t I do it ?