Of being voiceless

P.S. I know I’m terrible at titles.

Monday 24th October, 2022.


I haven’t slept for two nights now. I lie awake scared if I sleep I may not wake. Tonsillitis in the night will mess with your mind like that. Tonsillitis is bad on its own; accompanied by the dark of night, it’s a lot scarier. Breathing is hard, swallowing is hard, talking is hard… Today I woke up with no voice. Well, the signs showed up last evening so I texted the Dean to let him know about my “situation.”

I spent the night imagining how class would go; I’d probably use sign language. The kids, confused, wouldn’t understand a thing. How was I to manage five different classes without a voice?

The first one was easy; their group presentations were due today. They were lucky I couldn’t chip in with my questions and comments. No one likes those.

The second one was a whole ninety minutes and the kids in this particular class tend to be naughty. I picked the naughtiest, whispered to him my predicament and asked him to announce to the class. He beamed with joy. I’d given him the power of breaking the news so that kept him calm throughout the lesson. A few of the kids laughed, others said sorry, others didn’t know how to respond. A representation of the everyday world. I said, through my correspondent, that I’d explain the notes when my voice returned. I wrote notes; then gave an assignment on what we’d covered previously.

I just came from the third lesson. I thought I’d hear my literature students’ real voices, I thought I’d let them give me a little insight into their inner selves. I took them to the library; we read two poems then, I asked them to write poems about themselves. Here are three that resonated with me. I’m tempted to try and analyze the poems and whatnot, but I’ll just leave them to you. Do let me know which one you relate to the most. Thank you.

i am a reflection of my shadow;

always scared,

always in the dark.


when i am all alone,

i feel like i don’t exist

i feel like i have no one

i feel pain.

when i am in love,

i feel happy

i feel like someone cares,

like i matter.

when i am angry,

i feel like throwing things

i lose control of myself

i feel like there’s a hole

in my heart


and now, i am all alone again;

nowhere to turn to,

without a friend

without a face to say hello to,

now that the night is near,

i can dream that she’s here,

but when the night dies,

i will exist as i am,

i am, that is enough.


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