I have been told many times
to change and rearrange how I speak,
in order to sway people and perhaps give some bearing to other minds.
I have been told to hold my tongue,
and refrain from,
referencing connection to land,
or the spirit that is in all that is,
and from using the “term” Mother Earth.
It will only confuse people, they said.
Only push them further from understanding.
Speak in terms of migratory corridors,
On mercury levels, on food security,
Speak, they said.
But they outlined the grounds
from which I could speak from for me.
I have arrived at this specific point
with this very conviction
through knowledge and experiences
that I am to leave forever in a state of omission?
If I speak then, will that voice
even be that of my own?
Or will it be another tongue stolen
Another far reaching hand of assimilation
Plucking what I know to be true from my throat
and deeming it invalid, not good enough
not grounded in facts, inadmissible, irrelevant,
untested, lacking theory
I feel myself hesitate,
swallowing hard and unknotting my stomach.
My teachings, my teachings
My teachings are NOT theory.
The fact of the matter is,
I can speak on the grounds
they want me to
I am just no longer willing
To shapeshift my sentences
And accommodate the inability
To put a halt to Eurocentric selective hearing
I know what I know to be true
And I know, even if you don’t
But I won’t leave it out
To be able to speak with you