I have an ear for silence, the not-said and almost-said
of a voice in the room
or the once-said so long ago it’s gone to the stars and back
like a plucked and quivering string.
Call it the music of the spheres, that insistent ringing
of a divine bell
or the toll for living: thump and blood-hum of a heart’s
no yawning matter for the mouth that opens only to
close without a murmur.
Call it an old couple’s secret handshake, and keep it:
after years together, no need for words.
This poem won honorable mention in the 2017 River Styx International Poetry Contest and was published that fall.
May I just add my apologies for “disappearing” for so long – on top of many other events, we took our usual 6 weeks on our boat, mostly media-free, soaking up life on the water, emails and news unavailable in most of the little bays we stayed. And I forgot to post that.