why we are all afraid to be

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Why We Are All Afraid to Be
Nikita Gill

She speaks to me fondly
of passions and talents,
of guitars and stars,
with such breathless intensity
then stops short and
apologizes, ashen-faced
for speaking at all.

All because somewhere in her life,
someone she loved broke her heart
by lashing out with ignorance
at her sublime and pure words
and telling her to
be quiet, stop talking,
because nobody cares.

If you pay attention long enough,
it’s a familiar story.
The boy who rarely participates.
The old woman who is too hesitant
to join in a conversation.
The man who thinks three seconds
too long before he speaks.

People aren’t born sad.
We make them that way.

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash