A Language All Their Own

By Amaela Bruce
11th grade, New Tech Academy @ Wayne High School

With lines from "A Mom Fights to Get an Education for Her Deaf Daughters" by Kate Petcosky-Kulkarni, a Pulitzer Center reporting project

  "Ready or not, here I come."                           "Where are you?"
      I shrink down even more                 Shoved between the bookcases
  Into my dark and comfy spot                        Will I ever be found?
             She can't find me                                Do I want to be found?
          "Where are you?"                         What happens when I'm found
             You can't see me                                                 Again
                 I'm invisible                                        Speak, speak, speak
            You can't hear me                                            Cramped
                   I'm silent                                             There is nowhere
                    I see her                                      Nowhere more comfortable
   I can feel the beat of her feet                         Speak, speak, speak
          Speak, speak, speak                                   The open isn't safe
            But hidden I stay                                    But still it calls to me
           In my hiding place                               The world of the hearing
  Mama said, "Don't come out."                       Speak, speak, speak
Stay safe, don't let them see you                              I see them
                   But why?                                   Hands flashing, hands moving
       All the persons staring                            A language all their own
         Speak, speak, speak                                 Don't sign, don't sign
        I will myself to speak                                          Remember
         Speak, speak, speak                                All the persons staring
The words just won't come out                   God, please do something
                    The wall                                          Do some kind of magic
             Behind the wall                                        Abracadabra I plea
           The wall hides me                               God, please do something
  Its bubbles prick my fingers                         Do some kind of magic
          Speak, speak, speak                                "Speak, speak, speak"
      Its rivers tickle my arms                                       But I can't

Amaela Bruce
Amaela Bruce

Amaela Bruce is a rising 12th grader at New Tech Academy at Wayne in Fort Wayne Indiana. She enjoys spending time with her friends, participating in her youth group, and engaging in cultural activities with her school. Amaela, when not hanging with family or friends, enjoys spending her time doing fine arts including theater, choir, piano, guitar, and photography. Amaela is also a lover of potatoes, bubbles, and all things sea turtles.

Read more winning entries from the 2019 Fighting Words Poetry Contest