Why have I been silent all of these years? A quiet, sterile surface, afraid of not having answers, afraid of my own ignorance and privilege, afraid of ruffling feathers. I have been silent. Silent like tears falling at night, silent like a flower wilting to powder, silent like storm clouds brewing. Silent. But now, the truth is, I no longer know the sound of my own voice, and I can feel the shame of my ancestors’ ancestors, as they wonder how their hearts got lost in translation somehow. The truth is, my silence is a breeding ground for injustice and fear, a vacuum of sorts for someone else’s words to fill. No more, no longer. The weight of my silence has buried me into the ground. The weight of my silence has oppressed more than aggression and hate and prejudice. The weight of my silence has taken away freedoms and health and choices and lives from those who were counting on people like me to stand up. No more, no longer. I will speak. I will ask. I will love. I will write. I will protect. Be it a whisper or a roar, Be it a bad poem or a wrong answer, One word of compassion weighs more than silence ever will.