In Praise of Loud Silences

Yesterday a Jim Daniels poem. Today a John Daniel poem. But both rites of family passage poems, only today, an ode to silence of a sort — the silence that is always louder in contrast to the noise it follows. The kind of silence I like.

“After the Wedding”
by John Daniel

for Marilyn

After the white balloons were swept away
on the wind that had swallowed
most of our vows, after the embraces
and tears, the flung rose petals,
after new friends and old friends and aunts
from everywhere, after you tossed
the bouquet, and the cries of the children
raised coyote cries on the rim,
after chicken grilled on juniper coals,
cold beer from the cattle trough
and hours of hot dancing to Beatles and Stones,
the last of us swaying arms on shoulders,
singing ourselves hoarse,
how good it is
to find you now beyond all
the loud joy, driving north in rain
and the lovely ease of our silence.


Notice the indent before “how good it is,” telling the reader, “Here is a shift… a shift of some significance.”

A quiet significance which, in this loud life, speaks loudly.