To Silence

This entry is part 57 of 73 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Winter 2011-12


All night rain rattles soft against
the windows, forms pellets bordering
on frost; they fall like asterisks

upon the sill, language dissolving
as soon as spoken. Even the oboe
of a distant loon, the stream’s

purling clarinet, cannot prevent
this imminent slide toward silence—
The bell quieting toward the damper,

the mouth withdrawn from the reed;
the instrument returned to its velvet-
lined case, the tongue curled back

into its underground cave. So rich
and fragile, so little understood.
Maligned silence, milky as the swirl

at the bottom of a cup, toward which
the face bends to drink, wanting more.


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

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