First Call to Samaritans, by Helen May Williams

Can you hear me alright?
Is this a safe place to talk?
Can I tell you anything, things I can’t tell my mother?
Can I share my innermost feelings with you? Are my secrets safe with you?
Can I say all these terrible thoughts, and know they’ll never come back to haunt me?
Can I share with you, a total stranger, things I could never tell the family?
Can I keep on talking, about all this stuff that’s on my mind?
I’m sure there’s other people you need to talk to rather than me.

Right now, you’re the only person that matters to me.
Please tell me more about all that stuff on your mind.
Please tell me those things you can’t tell the family.
Because I’m a stranger they’ll never come back to haunt you.
Your secrets are safe with me.
I can hear you alright. I’m listening attentively.


Helen May Williams formerly taught at the University of Warwick and has written extensively on twentieth-century poetry. She runs the Poetry Society’s Carmarthen-based Stanza. The Princess of Vix, is published by Three Drops Press. Her book of mainly haiku, Catstrawe, is due for publication by Cinnamon Press in 2019. She blogs at and edits


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