The silence when no one’s around

He was at ease in the backseat of his sister’s parked car.

She waited for her husband.

She was also relaxed adjusting an eyelash in her passenger seat visor.

He saw himself flash in her mirror.

Her eyes widened with her brows as she dropped her jaw to touch her eyelid.

Her compact opened to a dance of pigment she brushed against her cheekbones.

The compact clicked shut and fell into her purse.

You know, she said almost to herself.

I have no problem if gay people get married, so long as it’s not in church.

He didn’t hear his sister, her husband’s wife that she’d become.

He heard his mother from the grave.

He heard his father from the grave

Who said to his outcome son, I’ll outlive you.

She joined them now.

All his trauma she witnessed in the same house forgot.

Since she wasn’t even in the car, he said nothing.

Such is the silence when no one’s around.

About the Poem

LGBTQ folk experience inordinate betrayal. This true story reflects an ongoing family discourse before and since marriage equality.

About the Author

Elder Gideon by Marion McDow

Elder Gideon is the author of “Aegis of Waves” (Atmosphere, 2021) and co-author with Tau Malachi of “Gnosis of Guadalupe (EPS Press, 2017). He’s an alumnus of the 2021 Community of Writers, directed by Brenda Hillman and showing sculpture this fall with Verge Gallery’s Open Studio Tour in Sacramento. A veteran English teacher-activist and leader of a gnostic tradition, Gideon lives from metaphysical urgency. He is queer.

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