The Gift of Josephine’s Silence

her presence creates pause
consideration grace in the waiting

in her work meadows ring
sounding bell of sky

head bent over book she’s intense
as a swan over eggs

turning neck a tuning fork
vibrations in the air she cannot hear

floorboards grieve when she leaves a room
an empty room is emptier without her

her laughter is loud and joyful
like a child’s

when we read her courtesy is utter
when she reads we listen

to the silence around her words.

Pat Murgatroyd

Published in Poetry Review 2010

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