Environmental Impact Statement
My anger’s a ditch
filled up by a hundred rains;
green scum rimes the edges,
insects clutter the sticky air.
A long, rutted road twists
through a field to the ditch;
moist toads crouch in the grass,
the heat unwinds a secret snake.
You are at one end of the road;
I am at the other. We ignore
the anger, pretending to get warts
from a toad, temptation from a serpent.
The truth is, we have loved
our littered words too much.
To drain this ditch is expensive.
It will leave a scar on the land.
Everyone gone silence is free
to slide out from under chairs
from inside shoe boxes to be
itself. Released it fills
all recently held spaces
and weaves across the lacy
air. The woolly quiet
comes to me on soft belly hairs
creeping over carpet glad to forget
the children’s wars the machines
that never stop the slight
shaking of the earth. Daylight
silence is spotted with sound
distinct patches laid on
with a true ear the coarse bending
of air by lawn mowers the chop
of a slammed door the dull clef
of the refrigerator. We are only deaf
in concentration furry with thoughts
that muffle and insulate. True silence
curls inside each idea caught
by some meaning at its nucleus
like a gentle animal waiting
for its master to open the gate.