• Her Laughter Broke the Silence

    Her Laughter Broke the Silence

    Her laughter broke the silence.

    A resounding melody from deep within, a bursting forth.
    More than a physiological push of air through lungs,
    with sounds formed by an unconscious mouth,
    her laughter, released something from deep within.

    Customs, culture, manners, roles
    had, for so long, dictated her place.
    But those places in society disregarded –
    who she was, what she longed for, and
    where her weaknesses and capabilities hid.

    For much of her life, she had held back,
    being on her “best behavior” – as some would say.
    Yet somehow this cast shadows, on her “best self.”
    She lost self, and voice, and thought the imitation
    she had become was the individual she was.

    Though others could describe her appearance,
    she was not seen.
    Though others could identify characteristics,
    she was not known.

    Over time, a silencing had taken place.
    Blinded to the process,
    she had become powerless to stop it.
    Until this day, this moment,
    when the absurdity of her muffled voice struck her –
    Only she could silence herself,
    “Only I can silence myself.”

    The laughter welling up inside was not prompted
    by an external hearing, but an internal knowing.
    She discovered not for the first or last time,
    her soul, her unique voice that could impact the World.

    And without spite or disrespect, but simply freedom-
    a “Welcome home,” extended to a friend –
    her laughter broke the silence
    that had fallen over her soul.


    – Written by Rochelle Matthews Stoltzfus, 2010,
    {from writing prompt “her laughter broke the silence}