Write the Silence

Write the Silence

It was a slow weekday down at Bell’s Tavern
Pretty Sally and I were the only ones around
She tends bar half way through the week
Serving tall drinks, smiles and good conversation
We talked a bit about her new apartment,
We talked about her family and her friends,
We talked a bit about the weather,
Then we talked a bit about all the souls
You can happen meet in a bar now and then

She said, “John, you know, I really hate having
A hospital two blocks up the street
Sometimes I just don’t know what to say
People come in having terrible times
I feel so sorry for them
Sick themselves with chemo and cancer
Or loosing people who are close to them

I said, “I’m a writer and I paint the world
With words and a pen, so I think about what people
Might say to each other all the time
You know, sometimes there’s really nothing you can say
There’s times when words just utterly fail
And there’s also feelings
That don’t have any words to go with them
Then we were quiet for a little while
And Sally walked off to make busy
By folding a few bar towels

When she came back I said, “I used to think
The hardest part of my kind of work
Was how to say things so well
That it moved people to tears
But now I know the hardest part for a writer
Is how to write the silence”

Just then someone walked through the door
Sally glanced at him quickly and gave me
A quiet hint of smile
Then she put on a broader smile
And went off to greet her new customer

Dewey Dirks

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