If I could only talk
In a way I could not bear to hear,
Did I know how to talk at all?

Now I am learning to speak
And learning to hear myself speak
In a way I can take joy in.

I am crying to hear myself speak,
The pain of a voice I fled from hearing,
And the relief of knowing it might not be forever.

I only knew how to make sandpaper and rusty nails
Come up out of my throat,
And the best I could do was try not to hear them.

Now, I’m learning to make smooth, glossy, clean, new,
musical, liquid, translucent, pure, alive, sounds.
All from the same throat, the same me.

Learning to speak is hard,
Because learning to speak means learning to hear,
And I hurt to my core to hear my in-built voice.

But hard is not impossible,
And pain is surmountable,
And the future is bright and vibrant.

Now, I can speak.
Speak, and hear myself.
Hear, and feel joy.