Sentinel Poetry Magazine January 2003

TOM CHIVERS


She turned to me and spoke

She turned to me and spoke
without even moving her lips
or making any sound at all
as if instead she was, like
all those memories of childhood,
sighing softly in the tissue
of my brain.

Thinking suddenly:
Gregorian monks in prayer,
the truth contained within
ascetic routine, waiting
in silence for speech to form,
within the mind
where words are born.

And amidst all that
cloistered shade, where
sunlight, like the slow
slow movement of the hands
of a clock, comes and goes
untraceably; at least,
that's how I imagine it.

But I can know this
no better than they can
comprehend the moon, or stop
the sun's effacement of the night,
left to grasp suddenly
at air and dust, and not quite
as they themselves had been -

like shadows on walls in '45
which, turning to speak,
found each other dumb.

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