Learning to Speak
She was the quietest thing I'd ever seen. It was so restful, being in her company For hours, neither of us uttering a word. I'd read the paper, look up, and she would smile, Her lips half-pursed, just tucked up at the ends As if holding a blithe secret. When I fed her, she'd silently nod and smile, Like immigrants you see In train stations or in the movies, She'd take the bowl from my hands And nod again and smile again And neither of us would say a word From sunup to sunset. When son and husband came home, Both talking at once, both talking With their mouths full, My daughter and I could only look at them With our dark quiet eyes. Siddown, she says now. I sit down Without argument.