02 February, 2010


He could not stop talking about her,
and when he could not be silenced
they arrested him.

Alone in his prison cell, he wrote of her
so they took away his pen and paper
and destroyed his words.

He scratched poems about her
with a matchstick into his soap.
They bound his hands.

He would stand by the window
of his cell at night
and sing to the sky
of his deep longing for her.
So they cut out his tongue.

He lay on his prison cot
and thought of her.
They could not stop his thoughts--
and so they killed him.

Does it matter who she was?
Who he was?
Let’s call her “Truth”.
Does that change anything?

This is not about him.
This is not about her.
It’s about Them
and what they can
and cannot
kill in us.

For every voice that’s silenced,
a thousand more
will take its place.

~ ~ Annie Wyndham
First published in Raving Dove Literary Journal, Spring 2009.