Breaking Silence

Rick Crelia

It sat there gleaming
on a shelf in a thrift store,
a chipped porcelain vase
the color of bones in sun.
As I picked it up slowly,
I heard a mild voice inside
begin to explain the defect.
"He came home too late,
on a Thursday. It startled me
when the door swung open.
I knocked over the vase,
tired and uneasy from praying."
I held it sympathetically,
my fingers transcribing her fears
into something mundane.
My heart relaxed, and then
it shuddered. I returned the vase
to its dusty shelf and walked
out the door with a loud emptiness.