Scott Cairns

September 18, 2012

To Say Silence

            —Moni Xenofontos, December, 2010

As the wind finally relented and the rain
suddenly ceased, I thought in all earnest to say
silence, but silence wouldn’t quite obtain, nor would
any named absence indicate the depth of such
sudden focus as arrived, undisturbed, whether
by abatement of chattering leaves or of the high
pitched whistling, the lament of weather through the gate.

As the three-day storm let up, what I met was more
a profound stillness, if one that nonetheless resounds.
A pulse, perhaps, and full, and very full. And yes,
I know how self-deluded this may seem. For all
the endless yammering that fills
my head most waking moments and so often
pulls me up from sleep, or draws me puzzling
away from the also confused images that most

often complicate my sleep, I find, now and again
and profoundly of one rare, clear morning
a sudden hush, an emptying, and find
my poor attention seize, grow heavy, then light.

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