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The Loudest Silence

Updated: Feb 19

The bathroom door enclosing me is broken,


Memories of its collapse

Leave paint-chipped sores to growl;

Hissing hinges and lacklustre locks

Keep me inside.

The shower screens containing me are broken,


Magnetic closures squint,

Perverting the filmy plastic to warp;

Wincing wheels and simmering steam

Keep room dry.

The shower cleansing me is broken,


Drops trace down my hair,

Curling around my calves to disperse;

Echoing secrets that wash away

Keep me hidden.

The drain is broken,


Crumbling fragments crawl and lodge my pipes,

Gargling every water fall to swallow;

Soaking skin and drowning debris

Keep me quiet.

The rain hasn't spoken today.

They sing like a choir,

Conducted by a thrumming crowd

Of solitary heartbeats.

Rumbling permeates and billows

Within my walls;

Keep ringing — I’m disconnecting...

Rain used to speak to me.

They sang lullabies,

Lulling my worn mind

Out of its throbbing fog.

Gently knocking my walls they whispered

“I know you’re alone.”

Keep ringing — I’m disconnecting...

The light above me is broken,

The light inside is weeping.

The loudest silence

In a voiceless room.

February 2020 was the last time Hannah Govan saw her family before the increasing spread of Covid-19. ‘The Loudest Silence’ is a poem about the sounds and silence of self-isolation during a global health crisis. A structured stream of consciousness identifying broken noises, voicelessness, and the way physical and mental spaces resonate together.

In a physically, emotionally and mentally turbulent time of our lives, the contradictions of being on your own can speak louder than you realise.

When you're simultaneously deprived yet frightened of company.

When your numb silence is drowned out by daily activity in hollow spaces.

When the dull stillness of a home is the only thing that can hear every pained sound of trying to remain whole.

If you are in need of someone to talk to, here are some resources and helplines:



  • 13 11 14

Beyond Blue

  • 1300 22 4636

Suicide callback service

  • 1300 659 467

The MindSpot Clinic

  • 1800 61 44 34

Kids Helpline

  • 1800 55 1800



Fortis Exam Helpline

  • +918376804102

The Fortis National Helpline [for students or parents]


  • 022-25521111 /

PARIVARTHAN Counselling, Training and Research Centre

  • +91 7676602602


  • 011-23389090



  • 91-9820466726



  • 044-24640050 (24 hours)

  • 044-24640060 (8am-10pm)



  • +913340447437 / +91 908803030


COOJ Mental Health Foundation

  • 0832-2252525


Vandrevala Foundation

  • 1860-266-2345



  • +9140 - 6620 2000 / 6620 2001 / +914066202000



  • 9922004305 / 9922001122


Samaritans Mumbai

  • +91 84229 84528 / +91 84229 84529 / +84229 84530