The Tuesday Poem: Silence in the garden

My father hid behind the newspaper

his head was always full

from eating words. Patient as an alligator

he knew the language of the world

but his house was dull.

No angry words were ever hurled

anywhere. My mother seldom saw his face

from her chair. The pull

of the garden too strong. Her place

being where worms worked an endless shift

of breathing life into soil.

She spoke to them. They got her drift.

Digging out a drill one day, her spade

unearthed a little box dressed in foil

something worms would not invade.

With hardened hands she flicked across the bolt.

A thousand words erupted from within,

words that gave her heart a jolt.

He lowered the news to glance beyond the sills,

perhaps reflecting if silence were a sin.

He saw her lying one broadsheet between the drills.

George Harding is from Cork. He has performed at many literary festivals around Munster. This poem is from My Stolen City, published in 2011. A new collection, Last Bus to Pewterhole Cross, is forthcoming in 2015.


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