What is the sound made by the lake
shrouded in the mist of a November morning?
Or what word is spoken by the maple leaf
as it flutters from the tree outside the window?
Nature talks in unspoken conversations
of God’s judgment & God’s grace,
while we, preoccupied by the roar of turbines
and the fall of the market, never hear.
The whisper of wings overhead
but momentarily disturbs our concentration,
suggesting, to our discomfort, another simpler way
but all too soon, the geese are gone.
And we turn to unspoken conversations of our own.
Our ways of speaking unspeakingly to each other
in carefully selected symbols designed
to communicate or disguise our hidden hearts.
What do they mean, these silent words
of arms stretched out in tenacious embrace?
These cryptic messages of eyes turned strangely down
as though to shut each other out in pain?
How carefully we choose the vocabulary
of the unspoken conversations we hold.
Of the silent songs we sing in our communion
never thinking it is ours, in mime,
to sanctify or sabotage the gift of love.