After the long racket, there was a time when the words loosed their ties and harnesses, freed their necks from collars, and jumped the fences one by one in an unrelenting tide, away from us.
Once freed, they made their own music and removed the delicate garments we had been dressing them in. Once feral, they refused our concerted efforts at domestication. They would think and move for themselves and no longer in our tight throats. They were done with our agendas, our probing scrutiny, the various tinctures we administered at prescribed times, and especially the bells.
We spent our frustrations banging against the broken fences and ringing the redundant bells, and then grew silent with a sense of everything to say and no way to do it. In this time, we became aware that the next occasion for speech would announce itself only by the rising hairs at the backs of our necks, and this was the beginning of our listening.