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‘Silence’: Powerful Poem by Felicia Murrell

Silence

If you’re silent,
you can hear the forest breathe,
the holy hush of the tree’s limb.

“Silence,” said Thomas Merton, “is God’s first language”:
the way it soaks into your skin,
surrounds you,
blanketing you like the forest’s breath.

Silence:
The cadence of the land at rest,
the body asleep,
the heart awake.

Silence:
The deep rhythmic breathing of a mind slowed down,
an ocean still,
wet dew clinging to grass blade.

Silence:
The sacred song trapped in a bird’s breast before its first
            chirp,
the still of night across a desert landscape
wrapped in a bone-aching chill
before the sun rises to scorch its parched earth.

Silence:
The lusty gaze of onlookers staring at the negro on the
            lynching tree,
neck snapped,
life ended,
feet dangling,
back and forth,
back and forth.

Silenced:
Hands up, don’t shoot!
Body thrumming with a heady sense of power.
Hands in pocket,
resting pose, knees embedded into a man’s neck.

Silence, please.
I. Can’t. Breathe.

Silenced.

Source: CAC, Richard Rohr

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