Mary Oliver

Ricky Talks About

Ricky, can you explain how it is that
Anne and I can talk with you, as we did
with Percy too, and we all understand
each other? Is it a kind of miracle?

“It’s no miracle,” said Ricky, “It’s
actually simple. When you or Anne talk,
I listen. When I talk you listen, as
you did with Percy.”

Of course we listen!

“No, I mean really listen. Here’s a
story, and you don’t have to visit many
houses to find it. One person is talking,
the other one is not really listening.
Someone can look like they are but they’re
actually thinking about something they
want to say, or their minds are just
wandering. Or they’re looking at that
little box people hold in their hands these
days. And people get discouraged, so they
quit trying. And the very quiet people,
you may have noticed, are often the sad

Ricky, you have really thought about this.
So we can talk together because we really
listen, and that’s because…

“Yes, because we care.”