Ruth Senter

If I really cared

I'd look you in the eyes when you talk to me;

I'd think about what you're saying instead of what I'm going to say next;

I'd hear your feelings as well as your words.

If I really cared

I'd listen without defending,

I'd hear without deciding whether you are right or wrong;

I'd ask you why, not just how or when or where.

If I really cared,

I'd allow you beside me;

I'd tell you my hopes, my dreams, my fears, my hurts;

I'd tell you where I've blown it and when I've made it.

If I really cared, 

I'd laugh with you but not at you,

I'd talk with you and not to you,

And I'd know when it's time to do neither.


If I really cared

I wouldn't climb over your walls,

I'd hang around until you let me in the gate;

I wouldn't unlock your secrets;

I'd wait till you handed me the key.

If I really cared

I'd love you anyhow,

But I'd ask for the best that you can give

And gently draw it from you.

If I really cared

I'd put my scripts away,

And leave my solutions at home.

The performances would end.

We'd be ourselves.


Herline, The Communique for Wives in the Ministry, Washington Conference, March 18,1993.