The bitter aftertaste of empathy…

It’s early afternoon in the suburbs.
The sweet silence is soothing.
The birdsong in the garden drifts
through the house like a lament.
An occasional car roars for an instant
then evaporates as if disappearing
through a portal into another world.
I try to imagine all the sounds
I do not hear, here. A siren
signalling incoming death.
A missile tearing through the atmosphere
mind set on its destination
only one thought, destruction.
The screams of those I love
or worse, their murdered silence.
The sound of my heart beating
too fast as if it knows each beat
could be its last. How precious
this safe silence is. This silence
we take for granted sometimes
filling it with purposeful noise
so we feel less alone.
I weep for the bloodshed
that is only ever an image
and try to imagine it a reality
but fall short, and for this I am grateful
but also ashamed. Privilege tastes bitter
in the early afternoon in the suburbs.

~The H Word~

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Wendy Pratt

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