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.