These Words and I – A Poem

I don’t understand the question.

Words are garbled to me,

going in and coming out.

Twice yesterday, I went to speak,

and words that I hadn’t meant to say

came out instead.

When I’m speaking, it as if

my words aren’t my own.

Sometimes, I go to speak and words

that are best left behind a filter

of some sort come out unbidden,

as if they were lying in wait.

As I say them, I try to push them back in,

try to stop the flow coming

from my mouth, try to quickly

build the barrier up again.

It is the inside voice

that we usually keep hidden.

I struggle to make sense of them,

these shapes that make letters,

those letters forming words.

I used to know them so well,

we used to be on good terms.

We got along famously,

wrote together, spoke together,

told stories together,

these words and I.

Now I wonder if I will

ever know them

that well again.


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