Poetry

121.

Layers upon layers of
meaning,
posed as words and wrapped in silence,
long breaks in conversation cause most to wonder
“What are they thinking right now?”
I tend to be a talker,
when I care about something,
but I’ve lapsed into silence
in these times of social distance.
I find I need the silence
and the pauses
to let my mind wander,
to compose a phrase
that puts my real meaning
in the spotlight;
if I start to speak out of turn,
I won’t stop,
and my rambling accomplishes little of value.
I dislike my tendency
toward extremes,
as these far-flung poles keep me from where I like to be.
I remember a time,
weeks ago now,
when I spoke up at work,
and my words had the weight of reflection behind them.
My ideas hit harder, felt more substantial,
because I molded them with robust thoughts.
These days,
despite having time and space away from everyone,
I can’t get into a good thinking pattern.
I think
I need people
to stir my mind to swirls of possibility.
On my own,
I retreat to familiar tracks of thought,
and I run those ruts to oblivion.
I miss my flesh-and-blood sounding boards;
I do all right on my own,
but I want to excel
with a group on my side.

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