Jealous of the Listening Air
She tells me her deafness is more complete,
no sound penetrates her ears, masks are difficulties.
Imperfect silence of devices switched off but still
outside chunters; car engines, birdsong, the wind.
Conversation in another room with no definite words
but the murmur of concern and humour’s high cackle.
The first restaurant visit, after, ablaze with chatter –
waves of talk battering the mouths I strain to read.
Ripples in the air rise and fall in each breathing
at night when worn ballcocks judder in refilling.
A poet sends mellow tunes of intricate syncopation,
asks for opinion, attention to the music and lyric.
Normal for my age; years of amplified concerts
and factory machinery launch silence as a predator.