Detuned Radio

T.L. Evans

My mother said she’d never known such rage
within a child, she told me later,
after the doctor, and after the pastor.
I don’t recall the nights within the cage.
I’d raise my two-foot frame against the bars
and fill the little room, my mother said,
with screaming, screaming that could wake the dead,
my fists and eyes clamped shut against the dark.
I don’t remember much till I was saved.
It was by chance her detuned radio
whose crackling plugged the quiet’s monstrous hole.
I sank beneath its filtered, whispered waves.

Still now, when silence starts to sink its gap,
I hear the desperate presence climbing up
and twitch the dial to static’s frequency.
Its hiss alone can make the thing retreat.
We used to top and tail, me and my twin.
And when the white noise stops she speaks again.