by Swans

I scream in my silence
and hide behind words.
The child that became mute so long ago
("she's such a good student,
if only she didn't talk so much")
can analyze and formulate with the best of adults.
And the thoughts ruminate until it is as if
they have already been spoken.
But they have not.

I drown in your silence.
Silence is resignation, acceptance, defeat;
selfish and isolating.
But words, words are gifts, invitations, weapons;
anything they may or may not mean.
Any way to interpret or misinterpret them.
They are links, nonetheless.

There are plenty of words
for those who have none --
words for children who can't voice their needs.
Words for the living, words for the dying,
words for the merely surviving.
I shall give them my words
and make you think.

And you, you shall question your silence;
in turn, give words to those in need
make connections you had never imagined
challenge your thinking
and fly among ideas,
like a Swan.

Published September 10, 1997
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