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If Prejudice Were Dumb And Could Not Speak

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The  Silences     (my silences)


Walking down the steep hill
winding down the stairs to the river,
I would rise early each day
to steal a piece of the silence
of the new day,
share with the mallards my rhubarb coffee cake
see the snake as he lay on the rock sunning himself
in the new dawn and the quiet
of the wild world waking up and me with it...
the peace of it all.
I was eight years old
sipping my milk-laced black coffee
and drinking in the silences.


Lying in my narrow bed on the third floor
of the boarding house in college with all
those other sleeping girls...
it would be late at night
the whistling of the trains would penetrate
the deepness of the late summer night...
and I would hear the lonely silences
stepping in between,
the echoing of the whistles made me wonder where
the trains would going,
and where I could go if I were on one
traveling into the great vastness of
the American landscape...
a kind of tangled wilderness,
that had once been so wild...
and longing for that wildness
and me listening and longing for that wildness
that was there
contained in the silences.


Studying for ten hours at a time.
I would compose my 5000 level term papers
in a cramped sound-proofed room I'd reserved in the
West Bank Library.
There was a high window which afforded me a view
of the campus and a small span of the Mississippi.
This room had narrow turreted view which gave me
a bird's-eye view of the world below.
When I couldn't find the right words, my mind
would wander to the silent moving world below....
I imagined those people advising me and then
the words would come and the papers
suddenly began to magically write themselves and
became whole in the silences.

Reading was my favorite childhood preoccupation.
Why? Because it took me places,
and eventually, literally up a tree.
As a child I often climbed up into the crook of
our apple tree in our front yard with a book.
In Spring, when the tree was in full bloom,
I was as hidden as a Cheshire Cat
and twice as satisfied.
when the wind blew, the tree rocked.
the branch was a perfect vee, there was no danger
of falling...my seat was at the top of the tree.
This tree became my secret room.
It was if I had closed the door,
and I was all alone in my own house.
It was, for me, complete happiness up there
in the silences.

In North Dakota, the Prairie Wind
does a lot of talking.
In a winter blizzard, it howls piteously.
In fall, it whooshes with unexpected gusts.
In spring, it caresses gently and murmurs, cooing like a zephyr.
But, in summer it is changeful.
The wind gathers violence and vengeance,
turning the sky an ugly pea green and filling it with
roiling turbulent anvil-shaped clouds
that can twist into a tornado
which shreds everything
in it path.

Afterwards, the quiet is palpable.
You can almost touch it on its shoulder.
Hear it sigh with relief.

And then,
there is a
complete
shattering
shuttering
silence.

The business and the busy-ness of the world are truly
over-rated, I think.
I takes the silences
to find out
who and
where
you
are.




Copyright January 9, 2015 All Rights Are Reserved By This Author
Written and (thought) directly onto the page, will return to edit later
All poetry/prose/ideas/rants are the explicit legal property of this writer
Copyright Meloo/Melissa A. Howells straight from her Tilt-a-World


re-edited on January 27, 2015/ performed open mic January





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