In Silence

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Among the waking buds of Spring,
I watched a robin, silent, sing.

Was it for me he sang his cheer?
This vision, voiceless, seemed so queer
That he should call without a sound;
And yet, his mate, circling, came down.

In wonder at this trick of nature,
I gave myself to their adventure.
They, silent, then sang out together
In unison of beak and feather.

And when they danced as birds will do
With beating wings my heart beat too.
And when they cut across the sky,
With one to nest and one to fly,
A scene I’ve seen, yet without sound,
Was something lost, or something found?

~ John Rea-Hedrick


My wife and son are both hearing impaired.  As a result, we as a family often view the acoustic implications of certain locations for social gatherings differently than most people do.  Noisy restaurants, for example, can make relaxed dinner conversation anything but.

Hearing loss runs strongly in my wife’s family and so we recognize the very real possibility of total hearing loss for anyone affected.  This poem was inspired one afternoon while I was sitting outside watching and listening to a pair of birds in my back yard.  As I watched I wondered what it might be like to see the birds only and not hear them.

Consider that as you read or re-read it and let me know what you think.

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