The Language of Sighs

Mr Philpott speaks the language of sighs
which is a language of pure emotion
made only of air

and the language of sighs is not his wife’s language —
she doesn’t speak it but learns to interpret
the tiniest nuance,

the smallest verb of the glossary
of the language of men whose deepest feeling
is too raw for words —

too naked for clothing. And yet her husband
whose eloquence is never in doubt
doesn’t know what he says,

what his heart gives away, as his breath expresses
his sorrow, his fear, his rage, his loss
and even his love.

Helena Nelson

If you've any comments on this poem, Helena Nelson would be pleased to hear from you.