I can hear my mother's voice say,
"Do you have to say everything on your mind, Deb?"
I learned that my thoughts weren't welcome.
I feared none were welcome.
I started listening more than I spoke.
Not a bad thing.
Not a bad thing at all.
I learned to stop my thoughts from leaking out.
I have never been completely successful.
When the escapees got me in trouble,
I imagined needing a guardian at the gate.
I enlisted the back of my teeth
to cross their cuspids and crowns
like bayonets to prevent my words
from flying into the air
Now I wish for a more high-tech solution.
Before I hit the send button,
could someone invent a half-way house
or a holding tank
or a purgatory
where the words could sit
between good intentions and gut punch.
I would visit them again with questions.
Could they be received badly?
Could they be misunderstood?
Will they help at all?
What are my motives?
There is a satisfaction of hitting send
but it is erased in the remorse
of unintended hurt or humblebrag.
An extra button would be nice
after the satisfying SEND.
A button appearing on the next screen
in a moment
after the blood runs cooler on the
A button that asks "Is this who I am?"
Until then, I am my own collector of
thoughts and guardian at the gate.
Until then, I take the risk to remain
silent and turn the weapons on myself
or take the risk to speak
if only to say
"Take care. I hope this helps."