The Silence I’m Learning By Heart
Why children make pulp of slugs
with a sprinkling of salt
or hang a nest of fledglings on a gate
with stolen pins
is why I sometimes turn towards the dark
and leave you guessing,
only to know the butter and nickel taste
to watch, and show no sign
of having seen.
wickedness, that sometimes celebrates
a tightness of the mind;
but what I comprehend
of fear and love:
cradled remoteness, nurtured by stalled desire;
the silence I’m learning by heart.
John Burnside, Husbandry
Photograph taken in Morley, Leeds, April 2014.