If I Really Cared

If I really cared...

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

I’d think about what you’re saying rather than 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’re right or wrong;

I’d ask you why, not just how and when and where.


If I really cared...

I’d allow you inside of 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 until 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.


Ruth Senter