You speak and I go silent
My lips feel like lead
As I try to contradict you
You used to twist off the top of my head
And pour in all your thoughts
And before I used to sing
Like a mockingbird
All these things poured into me
A liquid music filling the world
But now I don’t sing
I stand silent, firm
Staring into your face
The face of authority, the unintentional oppressor
An older male face
Filled with canyons and crevices and trenches
A mountain for a chin and hills for cheeks
Your beard a forest of grey hair
Never before had I really looked at you
And your geography
And I wonder if anyone ever
Twisted off your head and filled you with them
And I wonder when you stopped singing for them
And started singing for yourself
Not a mockingbird but a canary
My lips begin to move
And I hear a voice I haven’t before
It says:
“I think you’re wrong”

--Heather B., Adult