Breaking the Silence


After 45 minutes
of deep silence
Len stood up
in Quaker Meeting.

He was upset
by the amount of fruit
wasted
in Sebastopol’s gardens.

Len’s voice
shook
and he couldn’t stop
talking.

Marcy
tugged at Len’s sleeve
but
he wouldn’t sit down.

Len was angry
because so many go hungry
while the rest of us
wallow in  privilege.

Across from Len
in our small circle
sat Josephine
with two of her grandchildren.

She rose
and raised one eyebrow.
Len dropped
into his seat.

For five minutes
Josephine stood
in silence
and then closed Meeting.

Afterwards
Marcy consulted Josephine
I comforted Len
who was quaking.