Today's poem is by Oliver de la Paz
How I Learned Quiet
Begin with slownessthe drag of a candle's flame
down to the guard, and the pump of blood into the heart
as it sinks in the rib cage. Everything was spectacle.
Mother pinched me for squirming. The timetables lied. The games
were un-winnable. The priest looked down upon me
and lo, I was a fidgeting thing. God was in the desert
feeding me cactus flowers and locusts. I sank
my cheek between my teeth and listened
to the helicopters above us. Someone coughed. Someone
held up their hands and let fabric slide down to his elbows.
Copyright © 2010 Oliver de la Paz All rights reserved
from Requiem for the Orchard
The University of Akron Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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