Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


What We Cannot Hear

They shove Sonya into the army jeep
one morning, one morning, one morning in May, one dime-bright morning—

they shove her
and she zigzags and turns and trips in silence

which is a soul’s noise.
Sonya, who once said, On the day of my arrest I will be playing piano.

We watch four men
shove her—

and we think we see hundreds of old pianos forming a bridge
from Arlemovsk to Tedna Street, and she

waits at each piano—
and what remains of her is

a puppet
that speaks with its fingers,

what remains of a puppet is this woman, what remains
of her (they took you, Sonya)—the voice we cannot hear—is the clearest voice.

Credit


From Deaf Republic. Copyright © 2019 by Ilya Kaminsky. Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc., on behalf of Graywolf Press.

Author


Ilya Kaminsky

Born in Odessa, Ukraine, in 1977, Ilya Kaminsky is the author of Deaf Republic (Graywolf Press, 2019).

Date Published: 2019-04-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/what-we-cannot-hear