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Let Me Hear the Crickets

The meaning of life is in the bullrushes

By Catherine KenwellPublished 2 years ago 2 min read
Let Me Hear the Crickets
Photo by Andrew Coates on Unsplash


He asked, “What can I do to make it better?”

but nothing could heal my heart,

broken by the ebb of young love.

“What would you like to do while you’re home?”

but nothing could heal the sadness,

the untethering of love lost.

All my words had bled through

bedsheets and boxes of tissue

before I escaped the city

And he was not to know, because

I was his daughter, and I was strong.

Instead, I was silent,

Mute, disguised as resolute

while he tried to understand.


I asked, “Can you drive me to the bullrushes?”

“The bullrushes,” he repeated. “The swamp?”

Yes, I miss the songs of crickets and bullfrogs,

I need the familiar; I need it to breathe, to heal.


We alight from the old sedan,

side by side, we lean against the front of

its summer-warmed hood,

our feet crackling on the dusty gravel

as we settle in.

It’s almost dusk

on the baked-earth sideroad

and I tell him, I used to ride my bike here

and lose myself for hours,

listening to the chirps and songs of

creatures I couldn’t see.

Here, I heard sounds

that carried my soul, that reminded me

that the universe is so much larger

and infinitely smaller

than a simple human can comprehend.

Here, I breathed in the sweet musk

of nature, a dizzying mélange of

floral and faunal, growth and death.

I inhaled it all, the entire circle of life,

right here.

Here, my nostrils always begged for more

than was humanly possible, and

I understood I would never understand.

And that, I suppose, is the secret.

That’s what life is, what it means.


“So, there’s nothing I can do to make it better?”

my dad laughs.

“Nothing more than right here, this moment,”

I smile,

and he grabs my hand and kisses it.

“You’re something else,” he says.


We plan, we learn, we marry, we love,

and yet we never really know.

There’s comfort in that.

When we give ourselves to

the swamp, the crickets, the universe,

there’s comfort in that.

That’s the secret. That’s life.

Author photo

nature poetryinspirational

About the Creator

Catherine Kenwell

I live with a broken brain and PTSD--but that doesn't stop me! I'm an author, artist, and qualified mediator who loves life's detours.

I co-authored NOT CANCELLED: Canadian Kindness in the Face of COVID-19. I also publish horror stories.

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Comments (1)

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  • Mariann Carroll2 years ago

    So true, the sound of crickets are like a lullaby, so comforting when you emerge yourself in their sound. Such a lovely heart warming poem that tell a relationship between a father and daughter. 🥰 I love how daughter know where to go to find her comfort and the father just support even if he did not understand.

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