We talk and stroll
among the trees and brambles.
I make space
with a cautious question
an offer to listen.
You respond, then step aside
onto safer ground.
You say little,
listening to my chatter,
seldom of any consequence –
I don’t know how to interpret
your quiet.

Unvoiced questions, like rain are
falling in the silence,
turned aside by circumstance
or choice:
    How brief was ‘numb’
    or wide is ’empty’?
    How bottomless is ‘dreadful’?
    Is time of any use to heal?

Here is silence, like a door
to close against the rain.
Yet it stands ajar, itself a question
listening to the rain
dance among the trees.


Christine Rigden