They stitched the mouths
of the storytellers in my family.
Stories brimming with
Courage, Beauty, Love
Got replaced by rule books
On should’s and don’ts.

That’s why I was born.
With mouth stitched up.
That’s why
I put up and shut up
Until everything
Not sung out
Backed up as slime.

They said when
I couldn’t hold
my newborn.
Joints so swollen,
Tears flowed
Faster than breastmilk.

Depression’s the name they gave
For stifled tears.
Muzzled rage.

Then, one day,
I undid the stitches.
Scared me first.
Puss, stench.
Never-ending tears.

Ever so slowly,
Bloodline stories
Returned through me.

That’s how
I know the Truth now.

It’s them rules and lies killing me.

I’m done being nice girl.

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