So You Stopped Speaking.

A few minutes ago you were
spilling it all with hardly a pause
(but did you feel heard?)
I start to speak and stop.
I ask if you understand.
Yes, you do.
I start to speak and stop.
I ask if you are still there.
Yes, you are.
The silence over the phone line is pregnant,
I can hear the screaming of your choked words
trying to escape from your throat.
I start to speak and stop.
I ask if you are okay.
Yes, you croak out in a sob,
and I think that sob means something
     we are speaking of is bothering you
and I think that sob is from tears
but the sob really means everything
     you are not speaking of is bothering you
and the sob is actually from fear.


This is the silence that does not mean
     you have nothing to say.
This is the silence that means you could speak
     for a decade
But you feel that I would never understand.
(Which is what I can not understand. So you stopped speaking.)

2 thoughts on “So You Stopped Speaking.”

  1. […] Unfortunately, the schooling part of school was impossible to ignore. Many times, I was frustrated out of my mind about having to be there and actually complete assignments. I wasted so much time staring at the walls, wondering what was the bloody point of all this. I called my friends and ranted instead of doing my homework many times. And honestly, I wasn’t overwhelmed by the size of the workload for the most part. I was irritated by the work’s existence. Everyone who told me that school would finally start to be less cumbersome once I got to college is a liar. Instead, what I felt was exaggerated pointlessness. The things I was already learning on surface level and found pointless (to me) before now had to be studied in more detail at college level. And going in-depth into something you already find pointless doesn’t suddenly make it look full of meaning. It just becomes extra annoying. I hate school. So much so that I need people to stop asking me “How are studies?” because I don’t give a damn about them and it’s painful to lie – but I can’t tell them the truth if I value my time and emotions. I made the mistake of confessing the truth to one uncle over the phone mid-way through the semester. He responded in the typical Ghanaian adult way, with a semi-lecture and lack of empathy, and I began to cry. I wasn’t crying so much at his words but rather my extreme exhaustion of hearing them over and over again. That’s how I came to write the poem So You Stopped Speaking. […]

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