Listening

Jill Spealman

I lie quietly, listening.

At the end of summer the crickets and katydids combine

in a singing tremolo.

Already enough leaves have fallen to hear the freight trains again,

their industrious clattering beat dissipates in a soft whistle.

Crescendo—a thumping bass line floats by,

usually quarter notes—decrescendo.

In my ear is my own heartbeat

against a hiss and a swirling whine.

Down the hall, our old dog snores and yips

softly

at imaginary rabbits.

You snore.

I lie quietly, listening.