November 11, 2020

Our Voices are Lost. {Poem}


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Our Voices are Lost.

I feel shut down,
it is an awareness I have quietly expressed,
but I know is never fully heard.

I try to speak smartly,
but your drooping head and widely focused eyes
signal your waning interest in what I have to say.

Your body language is a visual cue
for me to hurry up and finish speaking
so you can stop listening.

I try to get my thought out quickly,
rushing to find the right words
lest I lose your attention completely.

The pressure to hurry and finish talking
interrupts my fluidity, causing me to flounder
and my mind begins to go blank.

The pressure to say something engaging,
expressing what I am thinking before boring you
reinforces the long held belief that I am dumb.

The domination has conditioned me,
forcing my thoughts to stay buried,
silencing the words before they ever leave my lips.

And after years of feeling muted,
knowing my words are unimportant and useless,
I have also forgotten how to listen.

When you talk endlessly,
constantly interrupting yourself on tangents,
I get lost in my thoughts and stop hearing you.

My body language fools you while protecting me,
my eyes glued to yours, head nodding, mouth mumbling
the appropriate words of response.

Yeah, hmm, uh huh, I know.
It has become second nature,
I do not even recognize when it is happening.

I have forgotten how to speak.
I have forgotten how to listen.
I have lost my voice and cannot hear yours.

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