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.
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