Listen, in the distance the sound of calling voices:
Hysteric wind shouting down leavesí loud brawling voices.

Innocence lies complicit as paper, while breathing
Comes hard to everything in winter, stalling voices.

The student wakes in a garden strewn with odd flowers;
They lie like stones under his head, not wholly voiceless.

That summer a hole grew in her soul; consult her socks
For proof. Echoes haunt the pavement recalling voices.

A mystery: why we never tasted magnolias?
Why they alone remained unkissed and falling, voiceless?

She learned her colors from the deluxe Crayola box;
The colors cried out their names with mad, rolling voices.

Lilac lay like lack on the land, littering the lake;
Faith, bright fish, leaps in all the waterís flowing voice says.

The proximate alone merits constant attention;
The dumb heart learns to follow where the darling voice is.

From A PROTOCOL FOR TOUCH (University of North Texas Press, 1999)


Poems by Constance Merritt

Cradle Song: A Found Poem


The Mother’s Seduction