There's a knot in my stomach.
A knot that bleeds pain.
And that pain pours out of my mouth when I speak,
Torrents of torture tumbling from my body.
So I was struck down,
Held down until my mouth was closed again,
Suppressing that pain deep inside and
Building up a silent resistance to the world outside.
Whenever there was a decision to be made
You stepped in,
Beating us to the words we longed to utter,
“It’s our turn to decide.”
You didn't want to hear my opinions about you,
And if I spoke up, your crushing hand would compress my form,
Sweeping my fragile words into tiny piles of unspoken hatred
That floated away with the slightest breeze.
My small voice has been hidden by millions of shouts for centuries,
Quieted under those who claim they're superior.
We fought for the freedom to speak our mind,
Although our spoken words they still attempt to bind to our bodies.
We've been screaming at the top of our lungs
But no one ever looks up
To meet our voice.
I have a voice.
A voice to reach out to others
A voice to command and console.
One that doesn't
Need to hide any longer.
You locked us in a dimly lit cell where
Our screams echoed off the concrete walls,
But only because we tried to rise to equal you.
Let me out of my prison
These cold, lifeless walls can't hold my glowing wings
Free these ropes from my speech
The ceiling that rises above my head can only fill with so many of my words
So give me my freedom back.
Release this cascade of words that longs
To drip from my lips
And flow unceasingly down to meet your oppression.
To speak is to believe
In your words
In everything around you.
Believe in what you know to be true
Writing is speaking,
And some women
Have to write in secret:
“I'm freezing,” she whispered,
But that's the only way her words can have meaning.
Hide her away beneath layers of cloth,
Hide her body because everything is her fault,
Hide her voice,
And make her words die on her lips
As if she is only a machine
As if she has no heart and no soul,
But she has as much soul and full as much heart as
And a voice as strong and witty as yours.
Suffering is worse than dying
And if you think holding me back is better than killing me,
And you've always been wrong.
To tell me I couldn't vote because I was a woman
Shreds my soul to the bare threads of my existence.
And why should we listen to you?
You who keep your brides locked up in secret
Only because you can't stand what they’re like,
Then lie to the world that they don’t exist.
They have the right to live a life of dull isolation,
But not imprisonment
We, are too strong for that.
I am headstrong
And I will fight to the end
Even if it means sacrificing my life to do it
Lives are precious
But if surrendering one
Will bring triumph to hundreds more,
I can do it.
I will do it to save our voice.
One voice that rises up together to protest what has been in place for centuries.
Our individual voices flow and swirl into one
That rushes ruggedly over rocks and rough areas in our past
But is able to glide flawlessly through the twists and turns in the road.
You held me down,
Tied me in thick ropes
That rubbed my skin raw and bleeding,
And those ropes formed a knot in my stomach.
A knot that bleeds pain.