This morning’s raucous quiet: din of a lawnmower
     Pulse-like swell of cicadas chattering in the brush
           Trucks grumbling along a nearby highway.
Under a sea of high thin clouds, a sheer ocean of sky
     The dead are islands: an archipelago
          Of mute echoes, of resonant silence
Their voices still within this gorgeous commotion—
     Crow call, water burbling, wind rough in trees—
          In a weed’s play, against skin, in the heart’s vibrations.
Under the racket of this day’s distractions
     Under the birds’ clamorous singing
          Under lapping waves of noise
Their stopped tongues their stilled voices speaking.

Copyright © 2017 by Ed Falco. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on November 24, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.