The Speed of Sound
Slower than the speed of light, slower than
a speeding bullet, its effect is seen
when a child falls and there’s a gap between
his falling and his cry as if the world
had been paused then started up again.
Sometimes slower still, the cry creeps on
silently, to catch him years from then.
by Ciaran Parkes, first published in Chiral Mad 3.
Editor’s Note: End rhyme lends this poem a subtle sense of structure, and supports the emotional punch of the closing line.