Tell Me About the Silence – Frances Corkey Thompson

Was it like when your child fell off the wall,
your heart on hold for an eternity, waiting for the howl?
No, it was not that sort of silence.
Was it the jumpy interrupted quiet of a late-night street?
The awed stillness of star-gazing?
The paralysing silence of long guilt?
Or was it the afterlife of an orchestra’s final thunder,
that wild hush ushering itself to the dome and hither and thither
until set loose by the first handclap? Was that it?

No. Listen. Imagine a trapeze artist
launching herself, how brave she flies, out towards
the fists-on-wrists grip that will see them swoop as one
to their high poised landing.
Imagine that he, distracted by his own dazzle,
That silence,
where she is spread and alone in time ripped open
and where he sits safe, holding out to her
his great empty nothing. Pray

for sudden flurries to float her. Pray for hovering, whirring,
buzzing, bumbling to bear her up. See the cartoon nick-of-time
dragons diving to carry her, hear the zing
of their lapis lazuli wings…

Yes, more like that really, when they told me.

Frances Corkey Thompson