“Inside Voices” by Vivian Underhill

Poets are prophets

But in Sunday School I thought I’d hate to be Jesus -

The teachers on the playground are never there when you need them,

And kids’ ears

don’t need

8 years

to listen between the lines and hear,

Be quiet,

I can’t even hear myself think.


We are taught so young how to be polite.


So pretty girls become voiceless,

And I know too many women who have

Sculpted forgetting

Out of plastic bags and

Smiles out of shot glasses and


whole homes

within themselves so

their voices would always stay



But at birth I contracted a serious case of word ebola

And at recess I played leapfrog with the words in my head.


And I’m never going to stop yelling now,

Because life isn’t over until you die

And we live most of it








Vivian Underhill lives in the mountains of Colorado and spends most of her time outside. She’s had words knocking about in her head since she can remember, and being an introvert, the written word has always been her favorite mode of communication. She loves snow, dark coffee, and feminism. vivianunderhill.wordpress.com