There is something about a trumpet blowing
at the end the dead awakened, sitting up
in their coffins, reaching out through earth
become no more than a mist on their faces,
listening: but it would be more than music,
more than dark flowers opening toward morning.
Inside each thing I think there is a voice
kept to the last. Youve heard that story:
the swan that sings only once, the stillness
before the storm. When something knows it is
about to break, it finds a way to speak.
What sound the world is saving, that it keeps
inside rocks and stones and trees, is half
of a long breath. Imagining is the other.
In school, when I was a boy, the teacher said
if a tree fell in the forest, and no one heard,
then it made no sound. That man had no idea
that things speak when they are ready not
to be heard, but because they are caught up.
First breath or last, dangling by ones heels
or ones neck, gasping in pain or in passion
to give voice is to break silence, to summon
all that we have touched and seen and held
until the circuit of words and syllables
weaving about us like a wind, like the blast
of a trumpet sounding out of nowhere, growing
stronger, coming closer completes itself,
and we are one with it, at last, and sing.
© 1986 Jared Carter