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 undisclosed lives—
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.