! The Secret Society Of The Suddenly Quiet... - Poem by Michael Shepherd
This Christmas, as ever at this time of year,
there’s a worldwide brotherhood and sisterhood
whose numbers I cannot count
and would not wish to know;
who seldom know each other;
and perhaps, that’s just as well..
who, in their dressing-gowns on Christmas morn,
amid bright wrappings hasty torn,
fall suddenly quiet,
are far, somewhere else for several moments;
return, and look silently in thought, deeply,
at partner, children; their eyes
now a little more shining than they were..
or who, at a lively dinner-party,
fall quiet for a minute,
look around the table, thoughtfully; or
squeeze a hand, secretly; then
return as if they’d never been away;
return perhaps with new vigour
in their conversation and in response..
or even, acceptably alone at Christmas,
celebrate it in this quietness;
if you knew them, which you don’t,
you might say something to them;
or, just might not know what you should say..
who are these, suddenly quiet
for a moment, far away,
celebrating something in their quietness?
they are those whose quietness would say,
this is what I never knew, when I a child;
longed for, never thought it would come true;
how fortunate I am, that I’ve survived
to feel like this…
Indians might say, this is the story of your present life,
which you wrote with your previous life..
the drama of separation now transcended…
that may be so, explain a lot; or it may not… but,
look at them- when they don’t see you doing that-
look at them deeply with the eyes of love;
saying in yourself, yes, yes, yes…
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