Sunday, January 23, 2011

What The Dog Perhaps Hears

If an inaudible whistle
blown between our lips
can send him home to us,
then silence is perhaps
the sound of spiders breathing
and roots mining the earth;
it may be asparagus heaving,
headfirst, into the light
and the long brown sound
of cracked cups, when it happens.
We would like to ask the dog
if there is a continuous whir
because the child in the house
keeps growing, if the snake
really stretches full length
without a click and the sun
breaks through clouds without
a decibel of effort,
whether in autumn, when the trees
dry up their wells, there isn't a shudder
too high for us to hear.

What is it like up there
above the shut-off level
of our simple ears?
For us there was no birth cry,
the newborn bird is suddenly here,
the egg broken, the nest alive,
and we heard nothing when the world changed.

                                             by Lisel Mueller

I might just need to memorize this one.  I found it via the thoughtful and gracious novelist/poet Irene Latham.  Just read her Leaving Gee's Bend yesterday, a strong 'middle reader'/young adult book set in 1930's Alabama.  To Kill A Mockingbird teachers:  We're always looking for an alternative read that captures its setting and some of its major themes - this one might just do the trick.  Gr. 4-6 reading level, I'd say.  Brief review tomorrow... (And just a coincidental link - When I checked the author's webpage, I found this poem.)


1 comment:

Teacher/Learner said...

That was I think another question to ask besides what the dog perhaps hears is what dogs think & feel. There is so much going on between their ears that we can only imagine.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...