Updated: Feb 17, 2022
By Christina Freeman
O, Beauty! What discerning eyes
Have not desired to drink you in
Take each morsel you vainly lend
To shout your truths, conceal your lies?
O, Beauty! Where do you reside?
In maiden smiles and trailing gowns
In breezes replete with the sound
Of happy people, drunk on life?
Are you birthed in artist's brush
Where your potential stays unspoke
Until he breathes life with each stroke
And you enter this world through gentle touch?
O, Beauty! What defines your soul
That some may seek your form in vain
And others bathe in you like rain
Owning pieces of the whole?
O, Beauty, that elusive guest
That sears the hearts and minds of some
Yet flees the more unlucky ones
Unmoved by mankind’s desperate quest
To experience her, so sweet and rich.
But she runs and hides, struts and flowers,
And none may predict or harness her power.
O, Beauty! You’re a fickle bitch.
“I’m going to the country,” my friend
told me. “I’m tired of the screaming sirens in the night,
the raucous drunken laughter of the revelers next door, of the
inconsistent rhythm of the city. I’m going to the country,”
he said, “for the silence.”
But I’ve been to the country, dear man, and there is no silence
there. Where the wind whistles its quest to find shelter,
strumming its fingers through your single house on its way.
There is no silence where the trees stand with naked limbs
scritch scratch scraping their boughs together, while
the crickets cry their song of lust to anyone that’ll listen.
There are no sirens in the woods, but warbling
cries of coyotes still make their way to the moon,
sometimes followed by the shriek of
an animal in its final, scarlet moments.
No, that is not silence.
Silence is the moment after your father’s chest
exhales its last rattling breath, while you sit
with his hand in yours and the monitors chime around you.
Silence is walking into an infant’s too-still room, realizing
O God, O God the baby is laying face-down on her blanket
while the birds sing right outside the window.
Silence is holding a comrade, a brother, in your arms
while white-hot bullets fragment and shriek around you and his
hands quit trying to claw his torn throat closed.
So move to the country, my friend, for the solitude
and exchange of noise, but there is no need to seek out the silence.
The silence comes for us all when it is ready.
Christina Freeman was born and raised in Michigan, but moved to Lynchburg, Virginia upon graduating high school and has been there ever since. She's a cancer survivor, a widow, and a mother of the three (in her words) "coolest little humans to walk the Earth." She's currently finishing up an associate degree in Business Administration through CVCC and is excited to continue her education with the University of Lynchburg upon graduation.