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Orchids - Close

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  • Silence
    By Billy Collins

    There is the sudden silence of the crowd
    above a player not moving on the field,
    and the silence of the orchid.

    The silence of the falling vase
    before it strikes the floor,
    the silence of the belt when it is not striking the child.

    The stillness of the cup and the water in it,
    the silence of the moon
    and the quiet of the day far from the roar of the sun.

    The silence when I hold you to my chest,
    the silence of the window above us,
    and the silence when you rise and turn away.

    And there is the silence of this morning
    which I have broken with my pen,
    a silence that had piled up all night

    like snow falling in the darkness of the house—
    the silence before I wrote a word
    and the poorer silence now.

    Source: Poetry (April 2005).