The Hum
Julie Sumner (bio)

You can only hear it in silence—
a low rumble, barely perceptible.

You may initially attribute it
to the refrigerator.

Later, you know it is a diesel truck
thrumming down the monochrome highway.

Then, you realize it is seaplanes
buzzing in and taking off again on the sound.

It is none of these.
You turn your head—it’s gone.
You hold your breath—it’s gone.

You soon suspect the earth itself,
whispering its urgent secrets
to anyone who’ll listen:

this is the sound of snakes coiling,
this is the sound of grass greening,
this is the sound of gravity folding
and re-folding the ocean like a garment.


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