“Did you see that hole something dug under the oak tree in our back yard?” a woman asked her husband.
“You mean that hole about three inches across and several inches deep?” he replied.
“Yeah. Do you think a squirrel might have done that?”
“No. It wasn’t a squirrel,” he said.
“What then? A skunk?”
“No. It wasn’t a skunk.”
“How do you know it wasn’t a squirrel or a skunk?” she asked.
“I know what it was because I found it lying there partly in the hole,” he replied. “I picked it up and disposed of it.”
“Are you telling me it died while digging the hole?”
“No. Actually, it died before it made the hole.”
“That seems impossible! How could anything dig a hole after it died?”
“It’s not impossible. In fact, it happens quite frequently.”
“Oh, you are absolutely correct,” she agreed after several minutes of thought.
Can you figure out what made the hole?
The hole was made by a falling tree limb.
Share with me the tears you’re hiding.
You needn’t smile or say a word.
Just let me come quietly to your side.
I know the need for solitude,
And you need not cry alone
In the stillness of the woodland I listened for
the sound of snowflakes falling on dry leaves.
I heard the approaching thunder of five diesel locomotives
and their cars that rumbled on and on. Long after their clackity-clack faded
I could still hear the horn blaring at every backwoods crossing.
And somewhere a chain saw was cutting the quietness into short pieces.
I heard the cry of a distant siren and felt no concern for what it meant.
A bass rump-a-thump rump-a-thump came from a car driven by some
dimwit who had the audacity to force me and every other living creature
to hear what he considered music. I hoped he would go deaf.
No matter how far he drove, I could still hear his obnoxious thumping till
a chickadee, with her one note song, diverted my attention and soothed my anger.
I heard a whining duet of tired jet engines droning toward a
terminal beyond the horizon. I longed to sail away to some
remote island where all the sounds are gentle and pleasant.
When finally the stillness returned, I tried again the hear the snow
falling on the dry leaves. But all I could hear was the ringing echo
from too many years of noise battering unprotected nerves.
With snow in my hair, I flop in front of the TV
and turn the volume up a bit.