They say “eyes are the windows to the soul”

but voices are wide open doors.

Volume, pitch, lilt, twang or tremor

each reveals the essence of you,

a “voiceprint” all your own.

Girly high pitched screeches

clamor: “take care of me now!”

Stentorian bellowing, pealing like church bells

on Sunday morning, demands obedience.

A whispered voice that can’t be heard,

like the wail of a scrawny wet cat

scrunched in a Buffalo squall, turns inward

on itself, making love with self-doubt.

The voice of sign language, quiet as a mime,

uses finger acrobatics to defy the cruelty

of nature and speak with finesse, nonetheless.

Enunciated wisdom of sanctimonious clergy

are not as easy on the ears as the breathless

enticements of a 900 number seductress

with a voice that sounds half her age.

Voice of America says, “be my friend,”

unfurling the red, white and blue in your face.

Voice of Guantanamo screams for Allah

while dunking for apples, tortured on the rack.

Voices of winners, Gates and Buffet, gurgling

in greenbacks, share their largesse with the poor.

Voices of losers, hungry and homeless

crouched on sidewalks, scouring for food

amid the dingy detritus of indifferent cities.

Voices of comics who make us laugh,

shaming us with unbridled truth.

Voices of tattooed convicts growling in cages,

planning revenge once paroled.

Voices of corporate thieves chuckling to each

other, sharing secrets of those in the know.

Voice of a ventriloquist, a blemished VP

who pulls the strings for a dummy President.

Voices of children, pure as Tupelo Honey

play guileless in the moment present

for the presence of the morning sun.

Voice of a friend when suddenly called upon:

“I’ll be right over,” the voice you can count on.

Milton P. Ehrlich 199 Christie St. Leonia, N.J.07605