Silent Sough

A moment of silence.
Easy it is to forget that rights to
Freedom of Speech also entail
Freedom from Speech
One we rarely use.

A time when silence breathes.
The raging voices in my head stilled.

I don’t yell for the dog.
He comes eagerly to my coded
High-low-high soft whistle,
Or the rattle of the treat bag.
I listen and he talks to me,
Rolling his Rs and mumbling his Ms.

I hear the King birds shrill terror
As my cat sleepily mews in the afternoon heat.
Disregarding, as I am, the urge to speak out during this time.
The cicada screams out, for
his or her time of silence
lasts 11 month or more.
I pretend it is my own voice,
screaming out my own rage.

I write in my best kindergarten large print handwriting
Long rambling letters to my mother.
So she won’t have to stifle a yawn
On the phone.
And can hold the letters
To remember a yesteryear
When people wrote letters
That lasted lifetimes.

I listen to her
Tell of misery in her first pregnancy in a
Texas summer drought of 1950.
How she cried with her baby in the heat.

I hear overheated clerks,
annoyed and exhausted filling my canvas bags
their angry eyes meet mine
and I smile with a cool breeze.

I don’t talk over the news
While Lanny tries to shake off a bureaucratic day
In the sagging recliner.

Few notice the vow of silence
For so hungry are we for the quiet
From our fellow person
In a world filled with violence, chaos, and noise.

I use my voice for good
In the vow of silence.
To remember the times
I had no voice.
To remember women
Who screams are yet not heard.
To remember those
Whose soft timbre
I will never again hear.

For the right to remain silent
Is a gift for those
Who have spoken
When they should not have.

I wonder about a voice of peoples
Raised in silence for one hour.
To be heard
By those who shout above us.
By those who have spoken cruelly.
By those who fail to govern righteously.

at first to be silent,
It is like all songs we sing.
Seemingly impossible to get the
Sway and feel of the melody.
the first hour and day
and lonely.
then oddly addicting.
easily slipping into
an entire August.
A month when my heart hurts
for all that I have lost.
And leaps for The Life I regained.
As I cling with both hands
to a life that occasionally ebbs
from me.

For long has my speech
Controlled others.
Late in coming as it is,
This moment of silence ringing
Frees us.


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