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.

—Anne Silver


This poem, along with others by Anne Silver, can be found in the Spring/Fall 2002 27.1 edition of RE:AL.




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