September 2019

Back to Issue 6

The Talkers

By Hazel Smith


the talkers rampage

round her silence


they want her to be an ear not a mouth

let them unload

let them spill

she says 


sometimes it’s more


than the confessional


a foot on her tongue

delicately placed


the deafening acoustics

of monologue 


the overlaying

the interruption


she wanted to tell them

when it comes to bonding

it is better to listen —


taking is more sought after

than giving


as diction eloped

she feared growing mute


found herself stuttering

when faced

with a question


her vocal chords

threatened to shrivel


until she forced

the words back

into their seats


made them stand up

if only for seconds



one day 

an ear not lips

would be bent towards her