Listen to Wes McNair Reading the Poem
Voiceless Initial Exploration
The swelling
that starts under the eye
of the mother rising
for third shift, then
turns into a welt.The ill man’s hand
on the banister
as he climbs step
by step listening
to his quickening heart.The silence of cats
watching the old woman
in a bathrobe explain to them
how everyone loved her
in the red dress.

The bowed head
of the son in the chair
too afraid to tell
his certain, angry father
he is not to blame.

The still chest of the wife
who has learned
not to have feelings
so her vigilant husband
will not know them.

The face nobody sees
on the glass door
of the cooler, not even
the one who opens it to stock
cases, night after night.

Notebook Page 1
Transcript 1

Transitions and Structure
Notebook Page 2

Transcript 2

Endings and Line Breaks
Notebook Page 3

Transcript 3