By Shirley Wilsey

Too bad we can’t change the spelling
Sensorship would be healthier
If we paid attention to what we
And other people were feeling
Instead of trying to control
What we and they are thinking
We’d all be better off

The worst kind of censorship
Is self censorship
When we don’t even dare
To think or imagine
Because we fear someone else
Wouldn’t like it

We never know what we mean
Because we never give ourselves
The chance to try it out
To say it, roll the words around
In our mouths to see how they taste

After all, we don’t have to swallow
We can always spit out the bitter
The awkward, the inedible
Sometimes I think more damage is done
By the things we don’t dare say
Don’t let ourselves think
Than by the things we do.



Shirley Wilsey, having survived careers as a teacher, a lawyer, and a technical writer, lives in Berthoud, Colorado, with her two cats. Her real job has always been writing, but she’s still learning how to make that her first priority. Given enough time and grace, she hopes to eventually get to the place, in writing and life, that she is supposed to be.

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1 thought on “Censorship”

  1. I especially love the last four lines of this poem, because they capture so well the idea that the best way to move through life is by letting our lights shine.

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