As I light a cigarette
(my 35th one today)
I realize I’m not handling this.
This silence.

At first I thought you just weren’t there.
Then I thought it was malicious.
Then I began to worry.
Are you all right?

I’ve taken your pictures off the wall.
They just made me angry and sad.
They’re lying face down on my desk.
Hidden from sight, like you
framed by silence.

The rain is dripping off the eaves.
The sound of wet sploshing
is all that breaks
this silence.

Did I do too little?
Did I do too much?
Are you running away from me
or from yourself?

Are you worried about
this silence?

The black and white kitten
you fed my brie cheese
is lying curled up on my bed
asleep, undisturbed by
this silence.

This silence
that says so much
by saying nothing.

© Sally McLean 1996


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