This is a guest post, a courtesy of a fellow poet and writer Cherish Tiana where she shares her heartwarming story on how poetry gives voice when nobody listens:
The only way to explain why I write is to explore the time in my life when I did not and could not. The only way to explain my creativity, my inspiration is to return to the point where I was devoid of either.
I have discovered several things that are necessary for me to be able to produce creatively: self awareness, self acceptance, and self satisfaction.
These things had been lost to me a few months after the premature birth of my son. I would like to say they were violently stolen, but the correct phrase would really be freely given. At every stage of my pregnancy, of my birthing process, and of my early stages of motherhood, I was criticized, doubted, questioned, ridiculed, ostracized and ignored; I internalized it.
I was ignored when I told the doctor my son is large for a 31 weeker, she denied that possibility and proceeded to make an incision he would later become stuck and nearly die in. I was ridiculed when I did not want to vaccinate my son before taking him home from the NICU because I had read the drug insert for the hepatitis B vaccine, which (if I can let you in on a secret) doctors never do.
I was ostracized from the pediatric medical field because I did not want to add additional risk for my son who had not even reached his due date by the time he was released from the hospital (born at 31 weeks gestation, released at 34).
I was questioned when, two weeks after finally giving into the vaccine because we would go without a pediatrician otherwise, my sons vaccine injected leg was inexplicably broken. Horrified, fearful of this unknown source of attack and constant threat of misfortune, my fear was magnified by the blame that I had caused the break by abuse. Abuse that not only did not occur, but did not even reveal itself upon medical examination of my son.
I gave my voice away and I pimped my convictions for the sake of being accepted but when I searched out a deeper level of satisfaction, awareness, and acceptance of myself, I found that not only was I liberated, but I was free to flow creatively once again.
In my poetry, I express my liberty. My voice is no longer silenced and most importantly, I am unapologetic about it.
I apologized for not fitting into the mold that society laid out for me.
The “Land of the Free”
but only if my thoughts and vision fall into alignment;
if not you place limits on my creativity, chains to maintain the course of my liberty.
I apologized when my opinions
offended your sensibilities and the fragility of your insecurities.
You gave me the label of opinionated, a scarlet letter in our society.
“Quiet your noise”, you said, “because opinions are unbecoming”.
“Just fall in line with the status quo”.
You would rather live what you know than expand your thinking and take the opportunity
So I apologized.
I apologized for the truth
because the truth made you uncomfortable.
Many times, I apologized.
When it was a lie, even still,
So excuse me if I don’t offer you an apology.
Pardon me, I’m just no longer sorry.
Cherish is a writer, poetess, Greek/Hebrew enthusiast, and a follower of Christ. You can find her writings at reignoffaith.wordpress.com
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