Two Kinds of Silence by Martin Willitts Jr

Two Kinds of Silence

My grandfather never spoke much —
he let his work speak for himself,
a part of the sacred silence,

whereas, my father could hardly hear,
and I wondered if this was the other part of silence.

I learned how to bend horseshoes from grandfather,
yet I never knew if my father could hear me.
I found myself in silence’s intersection,
like wheat tips in wind or lips moving without words.

Silence was the wrens swooping like the gate swinging;
cows moving their soft bodies into the far fields.


Martin Willitts Jr is a retired librarian. He is an editor of Comstock Review. He won 2014 Dylan Thomas International Poetry Contest; Stephen A. DiBiase Poetry Prize, 2018; Editor’s Choice, Rattle Ekphrastic Challenge, December, 2020; 17th Annual Sejong Writing Competition, 2022. His 21 full-length collections include the Blue Light Award 2019, “The Temporary World”. His recent books are “Harvest Time” (Deerbrook Editions, 2021); “All Wars Are the Same War” (FutureCycle Press, 2022); “Not Only the Extraordinary are Exiting the Dream World (Flowstone Press, 2022); “Ethereal Flowers” (Shanti Press, 2023); and “Rain Followed Me Home” (Glass Lyre Press, 2023).

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