Seeing friends for the first
time after his death
tested the silence a room could hold, the rest
was a kindness like holding our breath.
My wife's oldest friend
offers her best
brave smile, tells us about the first time
her daughter, in new hearing aids, passed a nest.
Pitched as high as a tin
in a sphere beyond the rumble of speech
she only knew "tweet" from what mother had
But birds' hunger songs
seemed as far from reach
as the angels Blake saw perched in a tree,
and sweeter than any science her mother could teach.
Quick lips make it easy to
misread a speaker,
and once at a party, based on what she had seen,
the girl introduced her mother as a "silence
Grief's small hands cupped
reliving the news of our infant son's tests,
his brain as quiet as her soundless sea,
and as still as winter in a robin's nest,
I did not say: I was the one
who held him last
and heard the ticking heart stop in his chest
or what that silence taught, and how it pressed.