Some thoughts about silence and what it feels like to sit on the edge of a dock


Kennedy Mikel

Me—in a kayak, risking my life by not wearing a life jacket, because I cannot, in fact, swim—living my teenage summer dreams and actually being happy for once.

The silence I’ve come to know

isn’t really silence.

It’s merely all the noises

that I’ve never stopped to

listen to.


In the absence of every other macabre noise,

I can hear what is always


beneath the humdrum.


Not silence.

Something else.

Something holy

and beautiful

and full of life.


Something not entirely human,


because humanity is louder

and busier.

And this isn’t necessarily quiet

or slow,

just not loud

and busy.


And when I hear what so often

is merely background noise,

I am compelled to notice

all of the other things

that fade into the background.


The little ripples in the water,

from the bugs alighting on the surface

or my feet gently shifting,

the notion of a world

that lingers among the lily pads and seaweed.


The pink blooms on the brush

near the wooded shore,

the diamond glitter of

the water furthest from the dock.


The can of strawberry Arnold Palmer

perched on the post of the dock,

a heat on my scalp,

a pull in my neck,

a cool comfortability of my feet

lingering in the water.


The way the sun reflects against the water’s surface,

surrounded by a rainbow halo of clouds,

a thought

that maybe I’ve heard this song before,

that I’ve definitely heard this song before,

that I want to hear this song again.


I am always scared of these moments ending.

I wish they never would,

but their beauty is in the knowledge

that they end,

that I will return to the humdrum,

to something less surreal.


And yet,

I will also come back

to this,

to something that is not


and I can be content in that knowledge.