After Long Silence*


For the (fictional) series, "Edges"
His Voice 



After Long Silence

"Oh, darling!" I say in my heart,
"is it really you? This is a miracle!
This is all things marvellous." But
out loud it's not like that. No basking 
in each other's smiles ... or arms.

Her face freezes hard after the first
blank surprise, disbelief. She is not
the slightest bit glad, but rather, is looking
shocked to see me. I start towards her
and she recoils. Then she's laughing –
but bitterly, thinly, no hearty warmth.

It's clear she perceives me as intruder.
"It's been too long," she says in parting.
"I don't know you any more." Non-plussed,
I pick up a stone, add it to the old cairn.
She can't fail to mark the action
or it's meaning. She stops, hesitates, 
then slowly bends to reach for one of her own.


*The title also belongs to a poem by William Butler Yeats about a meeting between old lovers. 

Comments

  1. Love the truth in this, the gestures and silences.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I can see her face. Ack. Love the picking up of the stone.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Whew, it is obvious that the meeting was viewed differently by both.One seems to look upon the meeting as pleasant, the other as an intrusion. Unexpected meetings are not always a blessing.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Still love it, the visits as if to someone "passed on,"

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love that stone - it carries a magical story

    ReplyDelete
  6. oh how the past is petrified - you are evidently fluid but the other has never moved on

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love that you've borrowed your title from Yeats, Rosemary, an old favourite of mine, and the way you convey the awkwardness of the scenario. I really felt it in the lines:
    '...I start towards her
    and she recoils. Then she's laughing –
    but bitterly, thinly, no hearty warmth'.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Strange, how the flesh and bones remember. She might feel that she doesn't know him, and perhaps that is even true, but... the picking of that stone suggests to me that they can still build something together (then again, perhaps, she might just smack him with the rock).

    ReplyDelete
  9. Humans dont have a pack mentality, we don't all follow the same path when in danger
    as we have learned how to survive by being unpredictable.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Tender truths beautifully expressed here, Rosemary - focusing on the underlying meaning around the significance of involvement with the stones is a beautiful way of bringing things to a close. Delightful read...

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh, this is a bit hurtful but the action towards the end suggests a rekindled hope too.
    I love how your series is working out.
    -HA

    ReplyDelete
  12. Just goes to show that the same memories can take on different hues to different people, depending on where their life goes afterwards.

    ReplyDelete
  13. This negotiation "after long silence" is fraught and tenuous. Loved it how you switched the singing masks around.

    ReplyDelete
  14. The stone another marker/memorial in the journey. A sign to let go. I have had meeting similar in life and have been on both sides. Sometimes it is better to walk away.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh dear....I wrote about a similar experience months ago. I can relate to this poem. Frankly I am still reeling from the shock. At least we can write about it and know that is probably not uncommon. Shudder !

    ReplyDelete
  16. This is so potent! I can picture the two characters meeting after a long and perhaps cold silence. There are so many levels of different emotions portrayed here ... there is shock and incredulity and perhaps truce near the end💞

    ReplyDelete
  17. His decision to suppress his story but still mark the meeting leaves me feeling that it would be a welcome twist to see them getting to know each other again. He doesn't press his story over hers.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Sad piece. When a meeting of old lovers is viewed differently....heartbreak.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I can see them both so clearly. You have conjured them so well. I love the significance of placing stones on the cairn.

    ReplyDelete
  20. A very thought-provoking poem, Rosemary. The placing of stones is quite symbolic. This speaks same source, different paths, and a story to be told.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I think that for some the previous parting is stronger... why should we always expect to be welcome... maybe building a cairn is a way to prepare for a third meeting when both are ready to meet.

    ReplyDelete
  22. What an awkward meeting. But it happens too often to all of us at some time. I had a similar meeting with an old "friend". Pick up the stone, put it down, walk away. Nothing to see here anymore.

    ReplyDelete
  23. As there many rivers and mts. were I am..."cairn" which there are many on the banks and trails... put this whole piece in a well "balanced" and it's mystery in our lives. At least that is how I read it and found it marvelous.
    ZQ

    ReplyDelete
  24. This is so well done! The gesture of adding the stone to the cairn juxtaposes powerfully with the title 'After Long Silence'. In fact, I don't recall, an act signifying, the end of words so impactfully. Perhaps that is because it is marked so deliberately.

    ReplyDelete
  25. In this surreal scene it is the symbolic action that gains consensus. Its like graspng the meaning of metaphor as we read the poets words

    Thanks for dropping by my Sumie Sunday this week Rosemary

    Much love...

    ReplyDelete
  26. it seems that absence in this case doesn't make the heart fonder.
    i am trying to figure out why he adds another stone to the old cairn. is he trying to remind her it's their old ritual?

    ReplyDelete
  27. This is really sad, but hopeful toward the end.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated and will be visible after the blog owner approves them.

Popular posts from this blog

Farewelling Selene

Go Away, Online Stalker

A Departure [prose]