—first line from Naomi Shihab Nye’s “Walking Down Blanco Road at Midnight”

It happens in a quiet place.
If too much is moving around,
you never get to see the thin line
of red flickering above the horizon
just before sunrises or just after
sunset—some tag of fire or herald
of no sound whatsoever.
There is a moment when all leave
the table but something still breathes
as fat congeals on plates left behind.
The big chair in the yard near the oak
lived in the silence of trees in forests.
The tools put up in the winter shed,
silent in their work and in their rest.
An audiologist’s finest instrument
might never record the calla lily’s
slow, long, unfolding song.

Darrell Bourque
from his book Call and Response
Texas Review Press, 2009
Used by permission of the poet.

This poem was catalogued in Poems and written by Darrell Bourque. Bookmark the permalink.

About Darrell Bourque

Mr. Bourque is Professor Emeritus in English at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where he served as director of the Creative Writing and Interdisciplinary Humanities programs. He was appointed Louisiana Poet Laureate by then-Governor Kathleen Blanco in 2007 and reappointed by Governor Bobby Jindal in 2009.

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