Don’t Mistake My Silence for Indifference

(from Brainstorms)


Don’t mistake my silence for indifference.
I need time to soak things in.

Did you notice the way
the gilded frame around the frosted mirror
behind the bar reflects more light
than the mirror itself?

The way the bartender shakes the drinks
in time to the bluegrass
playing on the old record player?

The way the waitress in the long, patterned dress
disappears and reemerges
through the half-draped curtain
that blocks the view of a hallway?

I wonder what else is down that hallway.

Don’t mistake my silence for indifference.
I’m not the type to wear my heart upon my sleeve.

Have you ever eaten an artichoke from the start?

Taken the time to peel back
the thick, outer layers
one by one?

Noticed how each layer
is more tender,
more yielding,
more nourishing?

The reward at the center ever more gratifying
because you took the time
to savor the unfolding.