“A Poem of Silence” by WITS Student Saioa Ouyoumjian
October 29, 2021
Everywhere and nowhere.
Everything begins with them, a poem, a friendship, a thought.
To have silence, is to have words.
To have peace, is to have words.
Floating around you unseen.
You think then speak allowing the words to spring to life.
Blossoming terrible or wonderful.
Words dance around you being heard, being told.
Except the ones that aren’t.
The ones that are kept to yourself.
Not just unseen, unheard, untold.
Kept in darkness never able to blossom.
Kept inside because…
They may be greeted with anger.
Or maybe there’s no reason, no reason to share
because you know you will meet disappointment.
That’s where the silence is made.
The silence of words.
The silence where your words are shared with yourself.
The silence where your unshared words make you burst.
Too many thoughts, not enough people.
That’s what makes a different kind of silence.
A silence not forced, but made.
By you, and everyone around you.
That is the silence that hurts.
Saioa Ouyoumjian wrote this poem while a student at Catharine Blaine K-8 School with WITS Writer-in-Residence Sierra Nelson. Saioa read the poem to open for the James Welch Prize reading, featuring Sherwin Bitsui and Kenzie Allen, on November 5, 2021.