She woke up this way
Her voice was ragged and scratchy
Unable to speak.
The first time she opened her mouth
(It was to greet the doorman)
A moth fluttered out
It’s tiny wings flapping half-wild.
She snapped her jaw shut
Slapping her palm over her lips
Eyebrows pressed into her bangs.
She cleared her throat
As she stepped out onto the sidewalk
Fingers now pressing into the space at the base of her neck.
She tried again.
It was a tiny squeak
Instead of a soundful
Chm, she repeated.
She thought back to the night before
And the curse she’d cast on herself
In her sleep
The curse of silence
Unless she had something wise to say.
It wasn’t until many years later
After years and years of cursed silence
That she realized her wisdom to share
She sat in the park
On a peeling grey bench
Her blue eyes finally bright again
Set in a face of worried wrinkles.
She looked down at the squirrels
(They were the only audience who’d listen now)
And she began
Her voice clear as day…
Once upon a time,
In a land far away,
There lived a silly girl
Who believed a silly thing
About wisdom and voice…
This poem was in collaboration with Brent Lampier, who gave me the prompt “Once upon a time, in a land far away, there lived a…”