Inside Voice

I’m here now.

You may not know me
or have ever noticed me
at all, as all I have is
my inside voice
to raise against
this world’s din, 

but I am here and 
this is now. I am saying
what’s true, even if
I am quiet in how
I bring it forward.  

When young, I was
made quiet. My tongue
was bound early
and well by
your custom and
your force:

use your inside voice,
your inside voice, your
inside voice

and later
I found myself
outside with
no voice for outside
as if it had been planned
that way. (It had been planned 
that way.) Those 
are supposed to be quiet,
supposed to keep silent…

But listen, listen:
I’m here

I’m here now with 
a voice inside doubling
my inside voice, swelling it
toward crescendo
though it’s still
recognizably mine
and I’m telling you:

I’m here now, 
no longer waiting
or holding back;
here now, outside
and speaking loud enough;
here now, hear now,
hear me now — because
I’m not going to 


About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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