The Voice In My Head, by Debi Swim

The Voice In My Head
by Debi Swim

This poem doesn’t want to be written.
Its voice taunts me that I don’t know
enough. It shouts that I am not a poet,
for goodness sakes, who do I think I am?
Well, obviously, I’m not a Poet with a
capital P but I do write something I call
poetry and what does it matter if I’m
not published or well known or whatever,
my voice trails off softer and softer.

The voice snickers.
All the great poems, she says, have been
penned, all the great topics taken. All the
glorious words, lissome phrases, perfect
forms used. You, she sneered, are too late
to this hallowed task. Just a want to be.

Well, but we can’t all be a Dickinson, a Heany,
an Oliver, or a Pardlo. Besides when they first
got those itchy fingers and those emotions
clamoring to be thrown up like yellow bile,
and hurt that throbbed like an abscessed tooth,
well, did it all come out ready for publication
or did it all come out in a rush of whooeeee
I needed that. I needed to say that. I NEEDED
to hear myself say that.

Okay, so answer me that, voice. But, voice had
left. Voice had no more sneer or snuff left. And
I thought, humph, well, and so. I am going to
write me some words. I’m going to let these
words speak for themselves and if, if, IF, they want
to tumble into a poem, well, okay, then. Like, I
have anything to do with it. When the words want
to come, when they are ready to be born, when that
head crowns, baby, you got yourself a lusty cry of life.

Note: Written in response to Red Wolf Poems, Prompt 248.

Debi Swim is a wife, mother, grandmother and happy WV poet.

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