Voice

Location

My very favorite comfort in life is closing my door,

Not dealing with the judgment that opinions deliver,

Living safe in a hollow home of maybes and seems.

From my computer, I browse through new perspectives and directions,

Trying to be as discreet as if the words of hope were curse words,

It would be “improper” to repeat them.

I can’t let anyone know that I’m on these dangerous sites

Which could pollute my mind until I, too, thirst for change

Because my eyes have been opened to a world of oppression, no,

The pollution is here.

It’s not equality that put it there.

I watch videos about the latest African American poet

Rightfully outraged about discrimination in his college

And the group of women condemning society

For averting its eyes as they are raped with the world as its witness.

I feel bare for having nothing to represent,

My privileged life displays a diploma next to the empty frame

That my college degree will fill in three years.

 Future sealed in security.

I want to change hearts with my words, better the world,

Instead of considering myself a member of the enemy team.

What I realize now, though, is that I can’t speak up for anyone else

Until I find my own voice to tell everyone who won’t listen

Exactly what I want, where I am going, who I am

And how no opinion of theirs is going to extinguish my own.

 

For so long, I’ve wanted to erase my life, to start over

To make it easier to censor my apologies instead of my beliefs

So that I’m not always giving excuses for being afraid

So that my English professor doesn’t mark me down

For sounding “unsure” in my essays

Essays about the world that squashes my voice into a mold

That glares when I so much as think about stepping off the pavement

But I have always seen the grass of freedom beside me;

My feet look as if they belong in it

And I glance behind me at the miles of road I have walked down

Then look back at the grass that would make those miles all melt

While whispering, “maybe that is what I want:

To feel the only blades that won’t cut me.”

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