At the Still Point

What The Dog Perhaps Hears by Lisel Mueller

 

If an inaudible whistle

blown between our lips

can send him home to us,

then silence is perhaps

the sound of spiders breathing

and roots mining the earth;

it may be asparagus heaving,

headfirst, into the light

and the long brown sound

of cracked cups, when it happens.

We would like to ask the dog

if there is a continuous whir

because the child in the house

keeps growing, if the snake

really stretches full length

without a click and the sun

breaks through clouds without

a decibel of effort,

whether in autumn, when the trees

dry up their wells, there isn’t a shudder

too high for us to hear.

 What is it like up there

above the shut-off level

of our simple ears?

For us there was no birth cry,

the newborn bird is suddenly here,

the egg broken, the…

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