Today's poem is by Paul Guest

Questions for Silence

In its first thin tide. In the place
to which it's come like a stranger.
Where the day is a map
you cannot read, crickets begin
in the warm night to whirr
green songs they could not unlearn
had they minds to grow bored.
The willow tree shudders
as though it were sewn up
with twitching nerves, with wire
bright as new-minted pennies. Where
do you go to gain the ear
of the moon, its ravaged face
lamented by no one? And
what do you tell something so old
it cannot remember
being once part of the world and not the sky?
What would your shadow care
to hear, to come close, to touch
hand to wall the tremor
of a passing train? If it had bones inside it,
you know it would flee.
So what are your words worth
to the hurried traffic,
to everything blurred,
to the ice cream truck
and its sweet patrol,
its song spilling out like a toy,
even in the dark? For all the sunlight
passing from the world
like a thought, who might you sing
to timid sleep? However long
you waited for rain
to rinse you of light's molten color,
for the elbow of the river
to bend back
to your life, the grass whispers,
you waited too long
and all the while it speaks
it grows.

Copyright © 2006 Paul Guest All rights reserved
from the Southern Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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