Venuri De Silva // THE RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH

I know a girl who was told she could speak when she faced injustice-

But her pleas fell to the ground, silenced, when somehow the blame fell on herself.

They fell down like shattered glass, pieces frayed far and near.

And I know a little boy who dreamt big and saw the most amazing things.

His thoughts were fit for a time past his years.

But again he was silenced because he was “too young to comprehend.”

And I know a grown adult who had a solution to the problem that no one could figure out,

But yet again instead of a, “congratulations,” they were silenced because they weren’t from around here so they couldn’t possibly understand.

They say we have a right to free speech-

And that our faces should glow with pride when we acknowledge  that here, everyone’s voice will be heard.

But then why is that little girl, too scared to speak up, and ask for help?

Why is it that when I ask a question, it’s the wrong question,

And instead of a response I get a nervous flutter of movement and a wave of “shh…?”

Why do only some people have a voice that will actually  rise above?

A voice that climbs over others and finds its way at the top?

But on its way to do the top it drags the others down, destroying them completely and using them as a rung in a ladder to take them further above.

And why is it so hard to speak of things, when we are free to speak of them?

These subjects can’t break the surface-

Instead they lay underground, pulsing against the hard soil dying to be free.

Instead of burying them deeper,

We should use our right.

We should set them free

and let every voice be heard.

 

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