It’s never silent.

It’s never silent here.
There’s always the clatter
of crates, the clang of cages,
the voices bargaining,
the cluck of frightened chickens,
the squawking
the screeching
the flapping
the scratching
the desperation.

It’s never silent here,
though the nurses wear
soft shoes and speak
in lowered voices.
There’s always the
steady pant
of the ventilator,
the low mechanical
machine hum
the ping
the alarm
that brings them running.
The desperation.

Sherry is hosting at Earthweal this week. She writes about the connection between the way we treat the animals we share this world with, and the great epidemics we have seen. She asks us to consider this connection, but to write whatever is inspired by this.


11 thoughts on “It’s never silent.

  1. What an incisive parallel, Sarah, you’ve connected the theme’s dots with the same terrified bawl. The sound of one violation in wet markets crashes so clearly on the shore of the other which ends in a ventilator.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh WOW! What a FANTASTIC drawing of the parallels………..the connection could not be made more clear. This is wonderful. So glad you wrote to my challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love how you link the noise of a factory farm (the fear and destruction of it) to the noise in a hospital. Both so sad and deserving of our concern and grief.


  4. The juxtaposition of the two environments is so well-captured, Sarah, in the noisy onomatopoeia and pace of the first stanza and the gentle rhythm and tempered vocabulary of the second stanza, punctuated only by the ping and alarm. I like the way you evoke the background sounds of a hospital in the:
    ‘steady pant
    of the ventilator,
    the low mechanical
    machine hum’.


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