My voice has always been a part of me
and yet, as all newborns
at first I only knew to scream.
Born with a voice, urgency to let my
truth be known-- hunger, open safety pins
subtle feelings-- all were perceived
as highest on the Richter scale.
my hard bought wisdom, winnowed
by all the years that I've survived
with the coming
of my age, at last I'm learning to trust
that others-- indeed, all-- have
voices and needs.
Better still, maturity brings skills
to know my feelings, empathy,
openness and richness
all help convey, communicate what
I have found. I offer this, place
my gifts in front of you.