What’s in the silence but a song? by Nancy Schatz Alton
Every day I set up a space.
I put slants on either side.
I wish for the words to flow
for my sentences to reach your ears
with the rhythm that I feel
as I listen to my daughters sing
alone or together
in their rooms or with me.
You can’t plan for that grace
the way I plan for this space.
I cast the minutes & read the poems
& wish to write the way they sing
to the latest hits, the ones I don’t know about
who’s that? who’s that? who’s that?
Can I package up this sound present
to unpack years from now
when I’m pining for their voices?
The truth is I want to write a perfect poem
& many books: to be famous for beauty.
Yet mostly I spend my time as a beauty hunter.
This beauty hunter is quieted by your singing
stunned that life gave me these gifts
all from a whim, a let’s-do-this
after I held my sweet friend’s sweet baby
after I heard my brother John laugh
again and again with his best friend Justin
knowing if I chanced upon the chance
to be a mother I’d have two:
two to laugh and two to sing
sweet songs that carry me to bliss:
the perfect poem, not one word written.