I will not be silenced by fear,
or dark shadows cast by shame
upon the parts of my essence
or experiences I’ve disowned.
I will learn to embrace my shadow,
love the secrets unshared, then
speak the unspeakable in my loudest voice,
trusting that revelation will in the end protect me,
not locks and chains, nor closets.
I will not fear exposure, by making visibility my armor,
silence hides in darkness and corners.
I will stand in the light and with others.
And, on those days I stand alone, I pray that
I will stand tall like a flag or beacon,
so others may see and join me. I pray that I may sing
an anthem of courage, mining words,
deep from my belly and heart, warbling in my throat
before putting pen to paper, in ink, not blood, nor tears.
I pray that I may find the clarity of essential truth
that will ring like bells in a cathedral and return to me
in echoes of pure notes, that my words
will join a chorus of voices. I pray I will not fear
judgment or censure, be outcast, made the other.
When I cannot find strength or conviction,
I will be gentle and patient,
knowing the silence will be broken;
I pray for my voice and the courage to speak.