i choke

i choke
a great silence rages all around me
so loud i can’t hear myself breathe
despite panting with raw, gurgling lungs
a silence greater and more ferocious
than any god or demon could be
so gigantic that every whisper dies instantly
and every scream
is sucked dry from the throat
before it is ever uttered
it is the silence of war
ripping the voice boxes out of infants
it is the silence of alienation
poisoning the mouths of children
it is the silence of violence
surrounding me in a cacophony of
empty blackness spinning in my head space
i cannot speak
the silence is too strong
and i choke on my words
as they are forced into my
burning stomach
and could my sound escape
it could not be heard
over the roar of silence echoing
in a cold cavity between ears
a great silence rages all around me
so massive and heavy
i do not know i am crying


Yawn. It is anything but silent here tonight. I’m wishing I’d headed north to a state where fireworks are illegal and found a friend’s floor to crash on. But then my poor cats would be alone listening to the racket. It’s only been The Fourth here for about 20 minutes but we take our Merica seriously in these parts. I celebrated by reading a Louise Erdrich novel, seeing as there’s no sleep to be had. Yawn.

This is another of those old poems trotted out to help fill in while I’m busy. Or slacking off with a good book. I think I was 19 already. Even then I knew about different kinds of silence. Often silence is a close friend of mine. We go long years back. Despite being a child of the technological marvels of the 1980’s I had a largely silent childhood. No TV. Country farm house. I lack the usual need to fill silence for comfort.

It’s odd that this poem comes to the top (well, actually it’s almost at the bottom) of the old manuscript stack write after finishing The Chosen. (Yes, I am well behind on posting book reviews here. But for the moment I’m caught up on school so maybe I’ll get to one tomorrow if I’m not too tired and cranky from the racket tonight.)

I started to publish this poem last November and never did. I’m not sure why I didn’t. It was sitting there with all the other abandoned drafts of posts and I almost didn’t notice this until wordpress inserted a (2) in the url for me. So I went back to the original. No sense in leaving more lost posts in the poem purgatory of a drafts folder.

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About m

My ego wants to think I'm a writer but my heart knows I'm just another one of God's Kids who sometimes has words to say. 2 human kids and 3 feline kids call me Mom. Or Mooooooom. Or mewom, depending which you ask. My most recent completed endeavor was finishing BA's in Religious Studies and American Studies. I don't remember what free time is but I think I like to spend it sleeping or playing in the mud on a river bank.
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One Response to i choke

  1. Pingback: 1996-2016: A Sample of 20 Years | the liminal life of m

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