Say Even as They

‘Say as we say’,
They said,
‘If you want us to hear you –
Otherwise, speak for yourself alone.’

But I knew
That to seek accessibility
Popularity
In my yearning for acceptance
By saying even as they
Would compromise
What I mean to say
In my idiosyncratic way
To make natural sense
As I sense it –

Would steal my truth
From generations to come

And so I came
To speak for myself alone
For the sake of others unknown,
Drifting in loneliness,
Weakening in resolve,
Caring more than I should
About my need to be herd
Accepted
Acknowledged
Until at last finding comfort and strength
In the words of a psalm
Passed down through generations
Before me

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