FRESH OFF THE PAGE: only silence

only silence

only silence

once there was inside of me
a great and secret song,
that began to play
each and every time
I gave my heart free rein,
let it open, tumbling,
down a high hill,
stumbling and falling
to the hard ground below.

this song became a chorus,
many voices moving
through a current of words,
in screams and whispers,
cheering each other on,
talking each other down
off the window ledge,
doubting, fearing,
but never growing quiet.

now there is only silence–
lying awake in the dark
I listen for their call,
and watch for them
in bright daylight,
ever vigilant and ready
for the music to begin
at any given moment;
yet nothing ever comes.

where the difference lies
I cannot really say–
in age or experience,
in karma or connection,
or debts finally paid;
a chance come round again,
well-earned and willing, 
to sing a new song,
wonderful and wise.

so those fearful places
inside my heart
are finally still and quiet;
the doubts and dreads
that once sang so loudly, 
deafening me,
are lost and gone–
like sand on the shore,
or a raindrop in a river.

and in their absence,
this newfound freedom,
I count the days
and the stars in the sky,
watch the sun rise and set,
eyes and ears freshly open,
with a heart unburdened,
hopeful, humming,
rising high up over the mountain.

Listen to this poem read aloud here: