It’s Just my Voice

Poetry is whatever you want it to be,

voice calling, words singing, dreams talking.

I don’t care if you like it,

I never wrote it for you.

It’s nothing. It’s just my voice.

It’s possible that I only ever wrote for my parents,

Critical, frustrated writers.

It’s all in good fun, hand slapping the sheets dismissively.

Wonderful, darling, quite good.

It’s nothing. It’s just my voice.

Tight buds of writer, never blossomed,

they were cautious in their praise.

Remember, writing is 99% perspiration, and 1% inspiration.

Tossed pages slip off back seat of car.

It’s nothing. It’s just my voice.

They did not tell me that my voice was sure and clear.

They never said be brave, be bold, be fearless.

They never said pour out your voice onto the streets,

Your naked hairy terrible truth.

It’s nothing. It’s just your voice.

Finally I cajoled my voice out of my body,

I breathed out my smelly poetry.

Peering at my poem through greasy glasses,

I held it between shaking fingers and read it aloud.

It was nothing. It was just my voice!

Perspiration was not an obstacle. Nor inspiration.

Success or approval, irrelevant.

I spoke.

It was my voice.

I let the inside of my body out, onto the page.

See what I see, hear what I hear, feel what I feel.

It’s nothing. It’s only my voice.

You have one too.

I smell the fires burning and I feel the exit narrowing.

There is no time to be coy or disingenuous.

It’s time for poetry.

It is time to use your voice.

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