SILENT PARTNER was originally published in
86 Logic, Spring 2021.
No need to mention any of the names
of those who ask me, “Why so quiet, James?”
In truth, I’m quiet since I do not choose
to shallowly discuss the evening news,
to idly chat about weather reports
or wager over who should win at sports.
And why reveal the details of my life
to those caught up in private grief and strife,
who listen just to items they can use
to gossip, harbor ill, taunt or abuse,
or those who, learning of me, would dismiss
as crazy anything that runs amiss
to attitudes with which they feel at home
and scoff at the suggestion they might roam
beyond the kind of life they’ve preconceived
or outside of the faith they have believed?
Why waste a discourse on those without will,
to whom stupidity’s a social skill?
And why discuss philosophy and art,
or matters even closer to my heart,
or, with light-hearted wit, why try to start
with those whose highest humor is a fart?
This is really why I’m quiet today,
though, “… just tired, I guess,” is all I’ll say.