Inside Voices

 Poets are prophets

But in Sunday School I thought I’d hate to be Jesus –

The teachers on the playground are never there when you need them,

And kids’ ears don’t need 8 years to listen between the lines and hear,

Be quiet,

I can’t even hear myself think.

We are taught so young how to be polite.

But pretty girls become voiceless.

And I know too many women who have

Sculpted forgetting out of plastic bags and

Smiles out of shot glasses and

Built whole homes within themselves so their voices would always stay

Inside

But at birth I contracted a serious case of word ebola

And I’ve never stopped playing leapfrog with the words in my head,

Because life isn’t over until you die

And we live most of it

Outside.

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