Silence, Redefined


noun si·lence \ˈsī-lən(t)s\

  1. A lack of sound or noise


  1. The sound of an empty school after the last student or teacher or cafeteria supervisor has left for the day.
  2. The sound of a house that was expecting its occupant to come home today, but they didn’t.
  3. The sound of someone who would like to speak, would like to shout even, but can’t breathe.
  4. The sound of a group of people, standing still, heads bowed, candles lit, wax dripping, thoughts sent upward.
  5. The sound one person not raising his voice against the systemic oppression of another person.
  6. The sound of a taillight, flickering out.
  7. The deafening quiet that immediately follows the crack of gunfire.



64 thoughts on “Silence, Redefined

  1. Creative and beautiful. But I have to disagree that prayer is a passive form of consent. One of my favorite contemporary poets, Peter Notehelfer, dissects the innerworkings of prayer and finds it is exactly the same as poetry. (His poetry, at least.) And in the midst of all of this political noise pollution, thank God we have poetry.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent! Simple, yet complex . Dour, yet uplifting. You managed to summarize the last 3 years of political protest and social upheaval, in 8 lines. If the people who think these protests are discriminatory and unnecessary, would read this; I bet they change their minds.

    Liked by 1 person

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