It’s my dad’s birthday today.
More than two years since he went into the void,
There is nothing sweet about this sixteenth.
The quiet I have wrapped myself in is hot and oppressive about my shoulders,
Tangled around my legs like kelp around the feet of a drowning man.
I am blanketed in online silence, quite unwilling or unable
To lay my hands upon a keyboard
And with two hesitant fingers type one reaching little tendril…
I would almost like the silence to swallow me whole;
I am burrowed so deep within its folds now
That, like a teenager rebelling against the alarm clock and the dawn,
I refuse to surrender its embrace,
Gripping its fabric tight around my face so that only my eyes and nose can peep out.
I only catch my breath in tiny gasps,
Afraid I might draw attention to my self-imposed vow of reluctant silence;
Afraid to draw challengers armed with small talk.
The longer a silence grows,
The heavier it becomes,
And divides the world into two types of people;
Those who must conquer it,
Who reach out and say something, anything, to someone, anyone…
And those who feel it like a rising tide, huge and powerful
And almost unnoticed until it breaks its banks and flows over your toes.
© mjc 16 January 2018