My friend was not well today
Words stuck in his throat
like fish-bones
All that left his lips
were bubbles of speech
I couldn’t read

My friend was not well today
Strings of letters floated his mind
They vanished in fissures
like diatoms
drifting down a trench
Too deep to hear

My friend was not well today
And I, between my youth and now,
I lost the art
of reading what is not written
and hearing what is not said
Forever gone

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© Poem and picture 2013 Mina Witteman