Even Quieter
The first of our burdens is silence.
We have been told not to speak
and so we don’t, at least not
in a way that can be heard.
We have been told to keep silent
through every provocation,
as though our silence were a good,
willed thing.  This is the way
we have grown, silent upon silent
thing, a chilled series of silences
that will not admit of words.
This silence is our heritage
rather than a family tree,
this silence provides us roots
and limbs.  We live in it
because we cannot build another,
no other treehouse will be good
enough.  Nor will we be,
cheered for a moment as silence
lets other things whistle, then
let down when we realize where
we are.  There is nothing
we may hold to after these years,
just dust and even quieter things,
things which do not need silence
because they’ve disappeared,
left nothing in their wake,
not breath, not ears.
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