Without TV

Suddenly you are gone from the United States without ever going anywhere. A tree branch scratches across the glass, daylight evaporates out the west window, someone lights the lamp, the icebox clicks on and hums, two humans come and say something, a rhythm of silence and thought. After a little while, they look uneasy, ask: Where is it?
One day it fell into the old cistern. Though we listened for a long time, we haven't heard it hit bottom; maybe it's still falling. But what do you do all day without games, laughter, good news, specials? We listen for the owl who sometimes perches all night in the silver maple, hooting and hunting, sometimes we hear his wings whooshing down on a rabbit, a snake, maybe a cat. When the owl is elsewhere, we hear a violin missing notes a block or two away. We hear pages turn. But aren't you lonely, bored? Not since it started Falling; maybe when it hits bottom, a little shiver of regret will ruffle the curtains a bit, but then we'll go to a store and buy something in its honor.

More Poems From Holmward Bound, An Evening With Bill Holm