Raining Down Voices

I don't know exactly where this came from inside me.  I just started writing Monday afternoon, and I started with gibberish, just writing nonsense in a child's voice.  Then this emerged all in one short sitting, with very few edits.  I think it started when I began thinking about being too small to see what was cooking on the stove.   Then my visit last month to my daughter's, spending time with an 18 month old who hears everything and repeats it came to my thoughts.  It was fun to hear him repeat "Wow!"  or "Oh, no, no, no!" that he'd just heard. 

Once upon a time
When life was brand new
I could do nothing
Being just two
Couldn’t see up
Could only see down
Up was too far
But down’s all around
I could see shoes
And I could see laces
But way up high
I couldn’t see faces
But I could see voices
They fell from the sky
Right to my ear
Right to my eye
I could see anger
I could see laughs
I could see whispers
Up with the giraffes
You thought I was little
What could I know
But everything fell
On me down below
Not over my head
But into my brain
It fell right on me
Just like soaking rain.

©Donna JT Smith, March 25, 2013

Lately I've heard people say things in front of their young ones, believing, or wanting to believe, that they are too young to understand, so it's all right.  I think they are wrong.  Everything's going in even if it doesn't come out right away.
Please, always take care with words and actions in front of little ones.  Most people were careful overhead when I was a young child.  I am grateful for that.


  1. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. We are all influenced by what is "put out there" by ourselves and others. Even animals detect all of these things, too--so OF COURSE our children do. Well spoken.

    1. You are right. Most people know that a dog can sense things, so why wouldn't they expect a young child be just as, or more, sensitive and aware?

  2. Little minds do absorb so much! Your poem is a perfect warning to those adults who don't think. Love the title!

    1. Thanks, Elsie. Sometimes I think parents aren't paying enough attention to a child to even know how much they've heard and know from them already!

  3. "But I could see voices that fell from the sky". You have given the perspective that we don't often reflect on. Everything soaking right into the little ones brains. It is a good reminder.

    1. The seeing and hearing senses seem really intertwined to me, as smell and taste are, so it just felt right to use them interchangeably and as tangibles.

  4. Beautifully said, & I like the rhythm, too, Donna. Since my granddaughter & your grandson are about the same age, we "know" that this happens. When people raise their voices in a "tone", Imogene scrunches up her face unhappily. She may not say much, but it is falling on her for sure. Thanks for sharing good advice in a lovely way! (Send to a Parent's magazine; they might print it!)

    1. Yes, he really doesn't like raised voices either. And he just hears and watches everything! I notice this even more as a grandmother than as a mother.

  5. Love the rhythm...it's childlike and whimsical. Love the message too. As a mother of two young children, I am often surprised at how perceptive my 3.5-year-old is and all the things he catches that we believe we're throwing too high. This poem captured my heart and my thoughts. Even though we always try, we have to try harder to protect our little ones :).

    1. Thanks! Yes, they are absorbing all the time, even when they don't know exactly what you said or what it meant. They were born to pick up language and actions, so that is what they are doing the whole time before they can actually say or do stuff. And then we hear or see it, and wonder how they knew to do or say that!

  6. Maybe that is why you are so smart today and can write like this because everything fell into the right places! Wonderful poem!

  7. I loved the poem...and I also loved the message- we should be careful when the young are around, and I see parents less and less able to do this (or so it seems).

  8. Absolutely perfect! I would love to post that in my classroom. I LOVED it!!

    1. Please, feel free to do that...just put my name at the bottom, if you would. Thank you for the compliment!


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