Spending the day cleaning in preparation for the New Year, I stopped in front of the fridge. Moving aside the layers of photos and inspirational sayings, I uncovered a poem that has lived on my fridge since I bought it (the fridge) seven years ago. The poet is Chase Twichell, the publication unknown. (I'm sorry Mr. Twichell that I cannot cite my source)
Girl with Sad Face
Silence--that was her chosen music.
Not literal silence, but space
free of all human presence,
something more like blankness,
or the musical emptiness of the wind.
When she scratched with a stick
on the hanging scrolls of the birches,
the waxy surface resisted.
It stayed pure blank.
What ink could mark it?
Only the purplish splash of birdshit
in berry season, and the first rain
erased that easily. Rain is a blankness,
and the brook, which says only one thing.
It says it knows nothing of human sadness,
doesn't remember the trees
that fell across it, rotting into shadows,
or the slim shadows of the trout.
These things don't stay in its memory.
It has none. The music it makes is only
the sound of water following the laws.
When I'm unhappy I look back
into the face that was my child-face,
which knew itself to be sad
and so said nothing to humans,
a girl with the sound of leaves for a voice,
who built for herself a shelter of sticks
and white bark in the woods, and crawled in.
When I want her
I look for her among the rusty prongs
and antler-velvet of the sumac
on the far side of the brook,
listen for the words she will speak
in one of the animal languages,
which contain much silence.
She's the animal I can't see
but know is there,
her eyes resting on me always,
asking why am I alone?
which is also my question to her.