Richard Shelton is the author of numerous books of poetry and nonfiction, including the Crossing the Yard: Thirty Years as a Prison Volunteer (2007), The Last Person to Hear Your Voice (2007), Going Back to Bisbee (1992), The Bus to Veracruz (1978), and The Tattooed Desert (1970). In 1974 Shelton founded the Creative Writing Workshops at the Arizona State Prison, which is still serving prisoners and which has since served as the model for many other prison writing programs. He is an emeritus Regents’ Professor of English at the University of Arizona and has been associated with the Poetry Center since its founding.
“6 p.m.” by Richard Shelton from The Last Person to Hear Your Voice (University of Pittsburg Press 2007)
This silence is the music of snow
dying on the surface of the river
or falling like God’s cold dandruff
on to streets where the homeless
have parked their shopping carts
for the night and closed the doors
of their cardboard boxes.
We hurry home
to our frozen suppers, happy
to avoid eye contact with history.
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