This poem was featured in The Writer’s Almanac today. It seems a fitting a thoughtful reflection on pastoral care and visitation to those who have lost the ability to communicate.
by Ursula Le Guin
Should my tongue be tied by stroke
listen to me as if I spoke
and said to you, “My dear, my friend,
stay here a while and take my hand;
my voice is hindered by this clot,
but silence says what I cannot,
and you can answer as you please
such undemanding words as these.
Or let our conversation be
a mute and patient amity,
sitting, all the words bygone,
like a stone beside a stone.
It takes a while to learn to talk
the long language of the rock.”
“A Request” by Ursula K. Le Guin, from Finding My Elegy: New and Selected Poems 1960-2010. © Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012