Speaking Terms

I cannot speak

my mouth isn’t nailed shut.

I choose not to.

I walk into the supermarket,

looking at no one,

tallying the prices

in my head,

and hoping nobody

asks me

any questions

during the exchange.

.

I know being silent

is not polite,

but even if I physically pass,

I do not know

how to answer

properly.

I cannot speak.

.

Sometimes

I am included,

sometimes I

am not

when I cannot rise

to the level.

Such is life.

On occasion

I can understand,

sometimes I cannot

or am not meant to.

I cannot speak.

.

Sometimes

people think I should

speak.

They ask me

why I didn’t learn

my inheritance.

They blame my family,

but most often,

it’s me.

I cannot speak.

.

I have tried

to learn how

to speak

before.

There are some things

I can speak in.

But there are others

in which

my lack of ability

shames me into

a silence

where

I cannot speak.

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