They Told Me

They Told Me

They told me you were quiet –

I sit alone in my room

trying to convince myself that people care about me

– but they told me –

and I can never quite make myself believe it

but I hide the fear with a smile that feels too wide

and laughter that sounds fake

– they said that you’d never speak –

and sometimes I talk

but the words aren’t mine

and the smile isn’t mine

and nobody’s listening anyway

so why bother?

– but they said –

I defy them, this invisible they.

Gray shadows of people that whisper about me.

When did they become the authority on my life?

Who gave them permission to define me?

Why do you accept their words as fact?