2010s · All the Tiny Anchors · Poetry · Unanchored

The Silence of Trains

“You fall in love
with someone who knows
the same silence as you”
Daniel McGinn

I fell in love with the man
who knew the same silence—
the silence of trains up close
in roaring motion, the strength
is deafening, a lulling voice
Its constancy feels like comfort

I loved the man who knew
the silence of city lights
from hill tops at midnight
The stars blushing down
at Los Angeles sprawled out
limbs open wide

The silence of public spaces
after dark, after closing,
after all other souls
are empty from it

I fell in love with the man
whose tongue filled
with paper and sand,
whose throat I saw dancing,
telling secrets, whose hands—
those hands said things
out loud for the first time

I’d been listening for years
Hear it? The silence, it swallows me

Originally appeared on Cadence Collective.

2000s · Healing the Heart of Ophelia · Poetry

July 1970

for my mother at 20

You seemed taller in the trees
Hair parted hanging long as limbs
How high did you climb then
How long did you remain
among the leafless branches
Twenty year old girl
Newly mothered
You must feel young smiling
Quilted dress does not stop you
You stand up and lean over down
It is dusk on another day
You swing— arms open— in the forest
Fingers spread wide
Thick red cardigan
You must feel free
I only knew you this way
Homemade dresses and open-toed shoes
You hated feeling closed in
You did come back for her
You must have known
As the woods grew dark
A new decade was upon you
A chance to begin again
The mountain air, crisp
I imagine, filled your lungs slow
Head tilted back as you swing
Back, smiling, and
Swing forward

First appeared in Healing the Heart of Ophelia.
Recently published on Cadence Collective.