Melinda Ruth

Granddaughter Left

Silence ascends from bottom
up. Or rather, from tips

of toes, fingers and ears. Silence
falls before dying. We are told

silence is pale blue, but it is
ochre, the color of piss and jaundice; old

linens uncleansed. Silence is
hazel, dimmed above your

rigored torso, your seized heart,
your rippled skin—leave me

with nights of knees on stained floors listening

to Johnny Cash cassettes at bedside—forgive me,
I lied. Silence spills

from summit down. The space left unoccupied
by what once was.


Melinda Ruth is a Baltimore transplant and graduate Poetry MFA candidate at the University of Central Arkansas. She is an Oxford American assistant, poetry editor for Arkana, and helps lead writing workshops at the local juvenile court. Melinda has pieces published in Pleiades, The Evansville Review, Red Earth Review, and more. Follow her on Twitter @_Mel_Ruth_.