A poem written on selective mutism. 'Selective mutism' is a condition where one is incapable of speech in specific situations or of speaking to specific people due to high anxiety levels.

The words are stuck
I touch my tongue to the roof
Of my mouth.
I hesitantly part my lips to try
But nothing comes out
Only cold breath is seen flowing out,
Merging into the air.
I sigh in frustration
Making my feet move,
Step by step.
And I walk away. Again.

I feel trapped in my own mind.
My vocal cords are numb.
Words at the tip of my tongue, but I remain silent.
I fear the humiliation. I fear the judgment.
The eyes that follow me everywhere.
Watching my every move.
The way I walk, the way I talk,
The way I dress.
My body shakes from fear, my heartbeat loud,
my ears ringing.
And I run away. Again.

They make fun of me.
They blame me.
As if I made a conscious effort
To keep my voice to myself.
They keep on asking me,
“Why are you so quiet? Why don’t you speak?”
I am shouting and begging
To be freed
From these walls imprisoning me.
I feel ignored, forgotten –
Like a disregarded piece of waste.

Fine lines that exist
between sanity and madness,
have finally blurred.
I fight. I struggle.
To make some noise,
But all in vain.
All I do
Is fix my eyes on the gravel beneath my feet
I let their voices echo around me
I listen to them shrivel and bristle
And when they’re done,
I disappear. Again.

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