Once I Had My Thoughts
In the old-time postcards
whole parks of lovers strolled
and kids rolled hoops
in great public zones of closed mouths.
There was an unspoken law in libraries.
People looked up, surprised
if somebody ruffled quietude.
Even the movies were silent.
Students kept quiet for teachers
except when talking with feeling
to the flag.
These days people talk no matter what
and can’t be stopped.
I now expect to be disturbed, so against instinct, as fast as I can,
I sprint poems into existence.
Anxiety digs its heels in my flanks
as I near the last word.
Will I arrive before someone’s car alarm goes berserk,
or will there be the jolt of a siren,
or a cell phone ringing in the bottom of someone’s tote?
My grandfather once tied pears
to a barren tree in the back yard.
The family went outside in their robes,
stared at the golden fruit.
This poem, along with others by Anne Silver, can be found in the Spring/Fall 2002 27.1 edition of RE:AL.