Voice

Who do I sound like when I am being myself
Not one of my characters, not the people that people expect me to be
Is my voice too high or too low, does it express who I am
Does your voice or his voice or her voice make them who we are?
I sound like my mother, he says, like an apology
My voice sounds so strange when it is recorded and played back
Do I really sound like that when I am live?

I do not remember my father's voice, not at all
Sometimes my mother's voice will play in my head
So strange that I can so easily bring forth a thousand voices
Of people long dead that I have never met from films and TV
So memorable and so individual, even more than faces
People say the eyes are the windows to the soul
What then is the voice, the music of the heart?

She says sometimes I talk too femme, oops I forgot
Who am I supposed to talk like today and why does it matter
When my voice is my instrument, my melody and my harmony
Reaching out to touch the other voices I hear every day
Yes, today I will have my every day voice, I will not pretend
To be a man or be a woman, a grownup, a child, an elder, an infant
In me are all these voices crying to get out

I love to sing, but I have to admit I do not do it very well
I must teach my voice to remember the lines of harmony one by one
I sing high, I sing low, failing at both ends to reach notes
Which other folks sing with ease, a metaphor for my life
A little flat here, a trifle sharp, but not often, too this, too that
Never satisfied with sounding just like everyone else
It doesn't matter I guess just who I please but myself.

2011

creative commons