Lynda Self

Bound in Silence

I turn to see if you look back, but you are entangled in your leaving,
drink cup in your teeth, carryon falling lopsided from your shoulder
as you wrestle your suitcase over the curb.  Then you turn,
not toward the car, but away into the terminal where you vanish
behind sliding doors. And my hand raised, anticipating your wave
goodbye, returns to the steering wheel as I begin the drive homeward,
the music of the radio blurring the silence of my thoughts.  

Once home, I sit on the steps as the dogs disappear behind the house.
I drink my coffee and watch birch leaves fluffed by the wind.
Your flight will arrive soon, and you will once more wrestle
with your luggage. Later, on your way to dinner, you will call.
We will talk of idle things. And afterwards, I will sip
my wine, thoughts undisturbed by the silence of the mountain night.

The dogs are running back and forth along the chain link fence,
barking at a passing truck. They have made a path where neither grass
nor weeds will grow.  Some days they cross the creek to sit contentedly
at the bottom of the yard where they can see the chickens in the migrant
trailer camp, where a rooster crows at odd times throughout the day.  
The indifference of such life almost suits me, a life of partition, routines
forged in isolation, bound in the silence of my thoughts.

Retired after a career of teaching high school and college in Norfolk, Virginia, Lynda Self now resides in the mountains of Western North Carolina.  Her poems have appeared in The Southern Review, The Georgia Review, The New England Review, Southern Humanities Review, The Threepenny Review, and Innisfree Poetry Journal.  Recent poems have appeared Confrontation and North Carolina Literary Review.



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Ann Cale

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Moshe Dor on Rod Jellema

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