10 O’Clock Appointment

By: 

Chris

Owen

Some people have withdrawn since lockdown.

She’s not there. Not there. Not today. She’s not there.
She sits there.
Young Lara, sits there. Not a word.
Nothing from Lara. Not for a long,
Long time.
Six weeks
In Silence.
So,
Lara, come in, sit down. Is there anything
You’d like to say today?
No reply. Again.
Nothing doing. Again.
Well,
Lara, you’re here, I’m here. We have thirty minutes.
No rush. Thirty minutes,
Lara.
And thirty minutes there is
Of silence. Not a word.
Nothing.
I’m supposed to nod my head,
Say ‘Ah’ from time to time,
Encouragingly.
Encouraging you to say why
You’re not speaking.
Not saying.
I nod my head.
I wait.
That’s what I do, Lara.
I wait.
I wait for you to speak, silent Lara,
In your head,
Privately, in there,
Sorting out,
And I’m nodding,
I’m saying nothing.
Not a word. And you, Lara,
Are in there,
Sorting out. So that,
One day,
You can feel
You can speak
When you want to speak,
You can
Give yourself permission
To speak, or not
Speak, or not, not want to speak, or
Not, not want to not speak or
Not.
Lara.

More from Poems

Heathrow Airport Toilets

HOW TO BREATHE

This poem was written during lockdown last year. I am lucky to have my local park, Hilly Fields, opposite my...

Moments

Moments of connection were so precious and effort was made with a simple smile in unexpected places and from people...

Become a Member

Our Members are champions of literature. Their support makes our engagement work in schools and prisons possible and they enable us to celebrate literature in all its wonderful diversity. As a thank you, we give them all the joys of a literary festival and book club rolled into one, all year round.