“Mind your tongue,”
a voice whispers in my head.
Insulted, I question it.
“Why should I?” I ask.
“Because that’s what is expected.
Because you can’t unsay what’s been said.”
Well everyone knows that.
“Just tell them what they want to hear.”
“You want me to lie?”
The voice sighs. “Clarity is not so easily spread. But—”
“Now hold on,” I say. “I’m not so proud
to think I have wisdom that everyone else lacks.”
“I get your meaning though,” I continue.
“There will be many battles ahead.
Most will not be worth fighting.
I’m not much of a fighter, I fear.”
“Find your voice.”
Another voice springs from its deathbed.
“You don’t have to be a fighter
to say what’s true.”
A happy thought.
“I guess I did find you, close to dead.
An echo in my mind
and well enough alive too.”