Word of Mouth

Did you hear the news? someone asks,
and someone else nods
while pressing his hands deep inside
his pockets like two mice
burrowing against the cold.
It hangs in the air

like the music in a violin string
waiting to be released.
I found out just now, couldn’t believe it.
The other man fiddles
with the lint between his fingers
and stares into the distance

while frost collects
on the empty staves of musical notation
which describe the silence
that follows a passing train.

David Chorlton was born in Austria, grew up in Manchester, England, and lived in Vienna before moving to Phoenix in 1978. The Bitter Oleander Press published Shatter the Bell in my Ear, translations of poems by Austrian poet Christine Lavant. Reading T. S. Eliot to a Bird, is from Hoot ‘n Waddle, in Phoenix. Read other articles by David.