There was a moment when he heard his lover’s voice
And thought he heard a language, that was more language
Than he had ever heard before. Like black granite
Dropping straight to the sea. Like wind on which gulls glide.
Her words were more varied than roses in sunlight,
Than the mottled maple outside his window when
The sky’s light lay parallel to the earth. And why,
He asked, had he not heard it before? Heard only
Filtered expressions of common speech? The next day
In a boat on the lake he listened to the lap
Of waves from a dying wake. Heard a cicada’s
Hum winding in the August air. Watched schooling bass
Churn the water no more than a pole’s reach away.
He lay down, his face to the sun, and tried staring
At it through the mesh in his hat. That night he walked
The concession area past where swimmers splashed
In the afternoon. At the end of the pier, two
Men sat in an anchored boat, their light a halo
On the silent water, and he heard it again.
In their talk, their words like ice on the quiet lake.
Originally published in A Matter of Mind, Foothills Publishing, 2004.
© copyright 2004, 2009 the Grandpa at The Word Mechanic Blog.All rights reserved.