To Whom It May Concern - A Poem

Have you ever noticed that the screech of silence is often more painful than the scream of nails as they run down the chalkboard? I am reserved, quiet, and you have used that to manipulate me into a speech-coma, unable to defend myself and accepting of the untrue words that pour out of your mouth like my morning coffee into my green alien mug. Breaking the silence isn’t easy when all I want to do is keep my head down and avoid making eye contact with my monsters, but then…

I see her.

Another girl unable to see the brilliance of her being, believing the words that leave your mouth with no thought to the damage they cause someone developing their self-worth and identity. I see her bow her head, unable to understand why yet again she could not meet the high standards you have set for those around you, but yet couldn’t reach on 10-foot stilts. I watch you in the way you crush me and those like me—the hopefuls, the dreamers, the idealists…But that’s all I would do. Just watch. I would watch the hopes and dreams flee from the eyes of someone losing their innocence. But still, my silence hurts more than the words spewing from your mouth. The silent state you put me in prevented me from saving someone else from the same fate.

And you persist.
You continue to crush people’s goals and stand tall over the ashes.

So I must not persist. I must break the wall of silence I have built to shield myself from your words.

I see you shaming yet another person and my mind fills with determination. I stand my ground, swallow my fears, and cough up the first word to the rest of my life,

“Stop.”

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