If I Could Speak


The desk is a prison cell

This classroom is a jail

Where the rules are sit down and shut up

Even if you want to yell.


If I could speak my mind,

I would never quiet down

I would scream to the heavens

That the system makes us blind


If I could speak my truth,

I would ask to read the classics

Bronte and Wilde and Hemmingway

And Conan-Doyle’s famous sleuth.


I would ask to learn more history,

Not simply whisk through

Skipping all the interesting parts,

Because there can’t be any mystery.


I’d ask to learn about beliefs,

Even the parts they try to hide,

The killings and the judgements,

That caused so much grief


I’d ask to learn of possibilities,

Not only concrete facts,

Things that may be true,

But have little credibility.


If I could speak of the pain

They cause us everyday

With the pressure to be perfect,

I would let them know there is no gain.


But if I did so, my good grades would drop,

My teachers wouldn’t look at me

With affection anymore

So I make these angers stop.


My desk is a prison cell,

My teacher is the warden,

So I sit down and shut up,

And I choose not to yell.



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