the Therapist

by Forrest Nees

count "one" to "five"
while allowing your voice
to ascend on each number,
say as many
"G" and "K" sounds
as you can think of:
"garage", "baggage",
"klink", "crick",
"beggar", "drugstore"?
Then you've been
to Speech Therapy.

Did you ever feel
as though someone
gave you her undivided attention,
had your best interests at heart,
rejoiced as much as you
in your success,
refused to let you bow down
to disappointment,
encouraged your most meager accomplishment,
listened patiently
to your impatient complaints,
never tired of giving directions,
enjoyed your old stories?
Then you know what it is
to have been loved back
into good health
by those whose skills and hands
combine with heart for your promising future

Forrest Nees spent his vocational life in ministry, retiring in 1989.