. . This Silence. Foremost among my woes: _This silence as it grows, __My mind fatigued from listening for your voice; Amid the constant buzz, The thought of what once was--- __Your gaping absence overwhelms the noise. . . . . Just Fine_ We’re made of breath and dust And sundry other things; We live where moth and rust And thieves can undermine, Yet on we go, nonplussed--- The captive bird still sings; We know we’re doomed to bust, But smile and say, “I’m fine.” _ _ _ _ Off-kilter_ So closely juxtaposed are love and hate; Violence and passion; hope and black despair; Though vastly different at the two extremes, So vague, so subtle where the center lies; In vain I’d strike between---too soon, too late. Impossible to gain my balance there: To flutter back and forth I’m bound it seems, One moment to adore, the next despise; __No antidote for my wild heart and head--- __I shall be cured when I am cold and dead. . . . . Barometer Falling_ My outward life is just a poker face, A grand façade, a shield for what’s within; While secret turmoil roars with fearful din, My cool exterior oozes calm and grace. I cannot seem to find the time or place To fix myself, my patience worn so thin I nearly burst. But still a crooked grin Adorns my visage---I won’t dare erase This pasted smile, lest anyone should trace Within my troubled eyes the thoughts that spin, That never end, just ebb and rebegin And leave me gasping for some breathing space. __This downpour brings relief---the strife is going, __And no one knows it’s my tears that are flowing. . . . . A Pennsylvania native now residing in Colorado, Anna J. Arredondo is an engineer by education, a home educator by choice, and by preference, a poet. She also has poems published (or forthcoming) in The Lyric, Time of Singing, Light, Blue Unicorn, Better Than Starbucks, and WestWard Quarterly.