The Sounds Before The Sounds I Knew Before
Everyone says it’s quieter now, but there are more sounds: Not the bird’s song, but the first lift of its wing. Not a rustling of leaves, but the flip flop as one leaf turns over, back and forth. The intake of breath before the shout of a child. When I stand still, I hear the grass tap against its fellow blade. When I walk, I hear my foot raise, peeling away from the soft pine needles. The sounds before the sounds I knew before. I should wear a softer jacket. I have to hold my arms rigid by my sides to stop the shiny rubbing that mutes all else. Otherwise I won’t know what I can hear and what I cannot. The listening itself is a reaching out. A stretching. Only the trees hold their secret quietness. I go close to them and find a cool darkness Made of sounds I have yet to hear.
Olivia was the Grand Choice Winner of our non-local competition. Her poem is featured in our first official book publication, In the Quarantined Room: Reflections on the COVID-19 Experience in Indian River County, FL 2020. To find out more about the book and to purchase a copy, click here.