In Silence

Most Days, Sara forgets the sound of her own voice

Because she spends a lot of her time silent.

She listens to her friends when they tell her stories,

And talk about their own lives,

And wonders if they ever notice that she doesn’t do the same.

She spends her days at work in a cubicle,

Listening to the conversations between post-menopausal women

Complain about their backs and their necks

And how the company isn’t how it used to be.

Sara listens to her parents fight about the same things

Over and over again

And wonders when they’re finally going to give in

To their proud ways.

She looks at men when she’s out and about,

And admires the way they walk,

The way their arms fit perfectly around their girlfriends’ waists,

And the way they smile,

As if there is no better moment than the one they’re in.

She looks at women

And admires the way they move

Full of grace and pride,

No matter how much they suffer behind closed doors.

She notices when her best friend, Julia,

Puts her heart and soul into a relationship

With a boy that doesn’t seem to want the same things.

But she stays silent.

Sara stays silent because she knows

Her friend is too headstrong to listen,

Because Julia really wants it to work with this one,

Because Julia doesn’t like to be alone at night.

She stays silent because she knows

That nobody wants to hear about her days in the office,

And her nights on the track

And then in front of the TV.

She thinks too much,

And a lot of the time

She wishes that she could just be in silence.

Complete, dead silence.

A silence without her mind turning

‘Round and round in circles,

Without that voice screaming,

“Say something!

Anything!

Nobody is going to know who you are

If you just stay silent!”

Nobody is going to know

Just how much she loves the ocean,

But can’t stand the sand,

And how it follows her

All the way back home.

They’re not going to learn

That she knows how they like their steak,

And how if they leave the house

Without putting on their favorite necklace,

Their whole day is thrown off.

She’s memorized everything to a point

Where nothing surprises her anymore,

And for some reason

She hasn’t found a way to break out of that cycle.

Instead, Sara stays silent.

She even lip syncs to her favorite songs

In the car

Because she doesn’t want to hear

About how she can’t sing well.

Everyone is predictable,

And she hates that even more

Than never having enough money in her pocket.

She’d rather just stay silent

Because it’s easier than starting a fight

She didn’t intent to start in the first place.

It’s easier than speaking her mind

And being told that she is wrong

When she knows that she is not,

And that it’s called an opinion for a reason.

Sara is just sick and tired

Of the mind games these people

Seem to love to play

Day in and day out.

It is very rare when you actually hear

Sara break her silence.

When she does,

It’s usually because somebody from her favorite TV show

Said the one line that cracks her up

Every time she hears it,

Or when she cries

Because she sat around long enough

To let her mind

Really get to pick at her heart.

She doesn’t want to be like this,

Kept hidden behind a bedroom door.

But she also doesn’t want

Anyone to realize she might just be

As crazy as everyone else.

Instead, Sara will continue

Her silent movie

Until she finally allows

Herself to break the silence.


Prompt: Think about how silence affects a person. Write a poem about it.

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