Sandy Longhorn


Silence cures.  The heart stands, dumb
as the cow in the slaughterhouse
waiting for the bolt to shoot home.
Silence, like a furled fist, disconnects
voice-box from the howl and cry
we trap and release later in the dense
shadows under the heavy pine branches;
those sounds let loose like frantic birds,
wings now touched by sap and needle. 
We breathe pine pitch and return in silence. 
Over the rustle of the evening paper
and the six o’clock news, the woodpecker drums
the code of its constant tattoo,
translating everything left unsaid.