web analytics
Skip to main content
Deaf Poems

You Have To Be Deaf To Understand

By January 19, 2021No Comments

“You Have To Be Deaf To Understand”

Willard J. Madsen

What is it like to “hear” a hand? You have to be deaf to understand!
What is it like to be a small child, In a school, in a room void of sound–
When a teacher talks and talks; And then when she does come around to you,
She expects you to know what she’s said? You have to be deaf to understand.

Or a teacher who thinks to make you smart, You must first learn how to talk with your voice;
So mumbo-jumbo with hands on your face For hours and hours without patience or end
Until out comes a faint resembling sound? You have to be deaf to understand.

What is it like to be curious, To thirst for knowledge you can call your own,
With an inner desire that’s set on fire– And you ask a brother, sister, or friend
Who looks in answer and says, “Never mind!”? You have to be deaf to understand.

What is it like in a corner to stand, Though there’s nothing you’ve done really wrong,
Other than try to make use of your hands, To a silent peer to communicate
A thought that comes to your mind all at once? You have to be deaf to understand.

What is it like to be laughed in the face When you try to repeat what is said;
Just to make sure that you’ve understood, And you find that the words were misread–
And you want to cry out, “Please help me, friend”? You have to be deaf to understand.

What is it like to have to depend, Upon one who can hear to phone a friend;
Or place a call to a business firm, And be forced to share what’s personal,
and then find that your message wasn’t made clear? You have to be deaf to understand.

What is it like to be deaf and alone In the company of those who can hear–
And you only guess as you go along, For no one’s there with a helping hand,
As you try to keep up with words and song? You have to be deaf to understand.

What is it like on the road of life To meet with a stranger who opens his mouth–
And speaks out a line at a rapid pace; And you can’t understand the look in his face?
Because it is new and you’re lost in the race? You have to be deaf to understand.

What is it like to comprehend Some nimble fingers that paint the scene,
And make you smile and feel serene, With the “spoken words” of the moving hand
That makes you part of the world at large? You have to be deaf to understand.

What is it like to “hear” a hand?

Yes, you have to be deaf to understand!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: