My Voice

“Quiet, little girl, you’re too loud”
In the church pew, she whispers “Shhh”
Singing at the top of my lungs
She says I need to settle down

My Voice
Is in my stomach
Breath, hard to grasp
Shadows enclose my body
My “No” doesn't latch

My Voice
Caught inside my mind
Between these four wooden walls
A game of hide n’ seek
Was never so unkind

My Voice
Muted within my dreams
Awake or asleep
The walls re- surround me
And it’s me that I blame

My Voice
Truth slowly leaving my lips
Gentle little ears listen
Tears of relief delivering me

My Voice
Sharing with my mother
Her silence said it all
My mind went back to the church pew:
“Shhh, Shhh”

My Voice
Broken, lost
Hidden beneath the pew and the wood and the game of hide n’ seek
The bleeding stopped at 19
Wrists and heart still scarred

My Voice
Held in the hands of friends
Cared for by this family
Words fell freely from my mouth
Releasing the darkness and letting in light

My Voice
Singing the “Hallelujah” solo
Stepping up to center stage
Loud and strong and free--
Freeing more of me

My Voice
Deserves to be heard
From the loud notes in the choir
To the quiet “No’s” in the shed
Heart and soul, they thank you
My voice is not dead

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