Deep Listening

He has continuous eye contact
Not looking away at people
To the left or right
Or coming toward us

Ever steady
But he’s not staring
He’s beholding
He’s present

All there
Taking it all in
Doesn’t interrupt to say

“You forgot about this” or
“You really ought to try that” or
“The problem with Obama is…” or
“I know all about that”

He isn’t itching to score points
He isn’t counting the seconds
Until he can deliver
The conversational coup de grâce

He’s OK with pauses
Doesn’t rush in to fill them with chitchat
He’s got an intimate relationship
With silence

No phone in his hand
No checking it every two minutes
No texts while conversing
No “Just let me take this”

After I’ve talked for a spell
Having read my soul
He speaks slowly to me
With encouragement or appreciation

After being with him
I feel like I’m the most important person in the world
Probably just like the last ten people
Who’ve talked with him

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