“You stop that banging, you sad cunt,” said Star;
The clack of Benny’s ruler slowed,
A final coda and the noise was stilled.
She glared a full two minutes at the boy, until unnerved,
He slipped out through the classroom door.
“That fucking knob,” she offered toward the frightened eyes of Listening William.
“Soft and stupid and he well needs to grow up.”
Listening William listened.
“Fucking twat. He only bangs that thing to scare you.
Shit. There’s me all shouty…you don’t like it.”
Quiet comes. She wraps herself in it, and offers him a double handful.
“Choose,” she mouths.
The sweets are hot and sticky. They chew in happy consort.
“My mom – well gobby her, my mom, she says that
You’re a Silence Seeker. Yeah? That right?”
“Speak seldom. And speak soft. They told me this.”
His words are unstrung jewels laid before her,
each one flashing precious as it falls onto the desk.
The door snaps open, bangs against the wall.
“You two. Outside.” He’s bald, bad teeth, the black clothes badly cut.
“Lunchtime’s in the yard. you know that!” But
Their stillness offers nothing. No resistance. No defeat.
“Then don’t make any bloody noise.”
Behind him, silence settles.
Star breathes, breathes gently.
Listening William leans toward what he has found.