what happens to words

whathappenstowords414

what happens to the words
when one is not allowed to speak?
when we sit silent at a table of strangers
who look and feel familiar?

what happens to the words
when one is not allowed a voice?
when we can’t speak our truth,
tell our secret, make our apology?……….to you

what happens to the words
when one speaks and no one listens?
when we talk and talk and talk
and the response is only silence?

what happens to the words?

they catch in your throat,
sit you bolt-upright at 2 a.m.
gasping for breath,
spitting sentences onto sheets.

or they find new ways to speak —
when the surgeon cut me open
did she find paragraphs clinging to ovaries?

what happens to the words?

they bravely show up in poems
and say things you don’t want to hear.


WORDS, ©2014, Jen Payne
IMAGE: Song Without Words, Lynd Ward, 1936.

6 thoughts on “what happens to words

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