What is it like without sounds?
Would a ululation define grief,
would it simply be the wind’s howl?
The rusty hinge creaking when
her door opens, would that be dull,
even if she had expected a coy call
much like a touch on her cold back,
that she might learn to want again?
Would these woodpeckers be sentinels?
Would lullabies be stark pantomimes?
The ringing of the steeple churchbells,
would they gather us to pray at the hill?
What would it be like, to see, not hear
the rush of a creek stream murmur like
the rhythmic flapping of butterfly wings?
Would there be ardour in an embrace,
release in a muted sigh, an ebbing
in the frenzied flow of fluid love sounds?
Would the wordless silence of a glance
across that crowded room be keener
if there were whispers accompanying it?
Would the sounds of a sunrise make
its bravura brighter, or a silent cockcrow
signal the urgency of a newfound day?
O, that I could see the sounds of silence
and hear the soundless wail of despair!
I would not need to ask these questions.
—Albert B. Casuga