The Wind Chimes The wind chimes hanging from the tree chime on and on and on. There’s no one there to hear or see those wind chimes hanging from the tree that chime and chime perpetually. The people there are gone. The wind chimes hanging from the tree chime on and on and on. The house is empty and forlorn, deserted long ago. Its paint is cracked, its wood is worn. The house is empty and forlorn. A single curtain’s hanging torn. It is about to snow. The house is empty and forlorn, deserted long ago, And maybe that is why the chimes keep chiming from that tree? As if they could restore those times when there were people there, the chimes keep tinkling, tinkling out their rhymes, as faithful as can be. Yes, maybe that is why those chimes keep chiming from that tree. Those chiming, chiming, chiming chimes keep chiming from that tree. Unspoken You didn’t sleep well. You would not tell me why, but later said, “It’s thinking about dying.” I let it drop. I know there’s nothing I can say, and nothing to be gained by trying to make that disappear. It’s real, it’s there, this sense we have of dying closing in, stalking us, creeping closer. We’re aware, but helpless, hopeless. How can we begin to face what we don’t say, because we can’t? Because mere words can’t give us what we need? Truth’s truth. It does no good to tell it slant, and who – or what – would hear us should we plead? We’re gripped by this malaise that does not go, only, it’s not malaise, because we know.
Bruce Bennett is the author of ten full-length collections of poetry and more than thirty poetry chapbooks. He taught English and American Literature and Creative Writing and directed the Visiting Writers Series at Wells College from 1973 until his retirement in 2014, and is now Emeritus Professor of English. His poetry website is https://justanotherdayinjustourtown.com