Mary sat at the Beloved’s feet
and listened to what he was saying.
We drove through cities and towns,
little burgs and urban stacks of buildings,
suburban developments like giant microchips,
past apartment windows and farmhouses,
cozy neighborhoods and lonely hovels.
Each house a story. So many stories.
None are evident by appearances: the neat estate
may hide a story of abuse and loneliness;
the sagging single-wide a story of redemption.
The people we saw—the people you pass by—
every single one is a story with a beginning and a middle,
and you only know one sentence of it.
The nuanced setting, the alarming backstory,
the various characters and their own story lines,
the intertwining of so many subplots, these you do not know.
And the end? And how it all fits together,
and what the story is really “about?” Ah, wait.
But meanwhile what a privilege it is
to be welcomed into one home,
one story, even to just look around.
What a gift to know someone who is willing to hear
your whole story. And what a gift we have
to sometimes stop and listen.