About 2 weeks ago, just I was getting immersed in Poetry Boot Camp 2021, I came across the following quote on Twitter: “What are the words you do not yet have? What are the tyrannies you swallow day by day and attempt to make your own, until you will sicken and die of them, still in silence?“, Audre Lorde. It was used to encourage the ‘silent majority’ to voice their opinions about a contentious issue, but it got me thinking about survival silence.

My silence did not protect me 
In the conventional sense 
My silence did not stop 
Another’s intent. 
My silence bought me time 
It enabled me to survive 
My silence, though a burden, 
Got me to the other side. 
I did not become the tyranny 
That I experienced 
My silence did not make  
Me an accomplice 
To my own torment. 
My silence has not weakened me 
In fact, it has made my voice strong 
And I use it now to name the wrongs. 
I do not walk in silence, 
A kind of head down obedience, 
My eyes are alight with defiance 
My soul burns like a furnace 
So yes, my silence did not protect me 
But, back then, neither did my words
Photo by Elizaveta Dushechkina on

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