Serving House: A Journal of Literary Arts
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SHJ Issue 6
Fall 2012

Hearing Aids

by Ron Salisbury

My hearing is not what it should be.
Dealing at the tables in Las Vegas, 
the sixties, the lounge music so loud, 
aspirin was called popcorn and the ears 
haven’t been right since. My kids hoot 
at my miss-hears, all three ex-wives 
yelled at me to get a hearing aid, 
which I won’t because I’ve already got 
enough old man shit going on.

I never understand the lyrics,
I can’t hear the words. The voices
are just another instrument. That’s why
now I love the opera, it’s in Italian 
or French, German, the 102 voice
chorus at the symphony, singing
in  Latin, the Requiem, the music
loud enough to push through
the flattened cilia and the language
is just noise. The world
is a marvelous mush to me, 
just sounds in the undifferentiated 
space circling inside the bar,
street corner, espresso stand.
But the really important things
I can hear like, “Yes, I want
to go home with you,” because
I can read her eyes and her hand
is gripping my thigh like a shark.


SHJ Issue 6
Fall 2012

Ron Salisbury

is a writer who has integrated his poetry with his business life for decades. For many years he was Chief Real Estate Appraiser for a major bank and more recently owned and operated Deaf Dog Coffee, a seven-store chain of espresso bars in Sonoma, Petaluma, and Santa Rosa. Now, three wives deep, four children long, and assorted careers past, he teaches and works as a building and real estate consultant. His poems have been published for years in both domestic and foreign literary journals.

“...we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose
is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?” — Ray Bradbury