Be Not Silent – Mary Walker

“Do not be silent.
Do not sideline
yourself
to the imagined power
of another.
This silence you stand in
begs you, 
answer.

Be silent only
on your terms,
for your own listening,
for hearing
what you long to speak,
and when your voice rises—
speak it.

When words inflate
your chest,
heart beating ahead
of your mind,
drumming its path for you,
it is time.

Even as your palms sweat,
know this—
your body does not fear the speaking;
it does not fear being heard.
As you stand trembling,
as you hover
on the lip of voice—
all your body fears
is that you might stay silent
yet again.”