Jewish · slice of life · speech

Silenced (A Slice of Poetry)

Betsy challenged us to try some poetry for our slice of life stories the other day.  My heart was heavy after leaving synagogue with my family today. I decided to do a quick write about what I was feeling in a new “Poetry” notebook in my Noteshelf App. From there, I crossed out unnecessary words and looked for the meatiest parts.  Here’s the poem I came up with:


You can sing the songs.

Sing them today.


Are you embarrassed?

Are you worried

you won’t sing the right words?


It’s taken you a long time

and practice

to speak.

It’s okay

if you don’t get

the words right.

Other kids

won’t sing the right words either.


“Shalom Everybody”

{Lips didn’t move.}


{Lips didn’t move.}


{Lips didn’t move.}

“Little Shabbat Candles”

{Lips didn’t move.}

“Dinosaur Knocking at My Door”

{Lips didn’t move.}

“Bim Bam”

{Lips didn’t move.}

My heart breaks.

She’s fearful

of making a mistake.

One day

I hope she finds freedom

to use her voice

in prayer


in song.


Head over to  for more slices of life.
Head over to for more slices of life.


30 thoughts on “Silenced (A Slice of Poetry)

  1. This made me cry a little. I also hope one day she finds the courage, I know she is a courageous little girl who will find her voice in song one day. I think of my little Saige who has fought beyond her barriers of talk and song and she is in second grade now, flourishing. Your little one will too.

  2. Oh, Stacey. It’s so painful watching our little ones go through experiences like these, but these are the things that will help her grow to be stronger and kinder and wiser–especially with a family that loves her so deeply.

    1. Thanks for the votes of confidence, Betsy and Beth. I appreciate it. I know this is a confidence issue, but it was so hard to watch. And then I did what I do best… I reflected on it once I got home and that made me feel worse.

      Time. Time makes things better. I know time will help. But you’re right, in the end she’ll conquer this barrier which will help her knock down other — tougher — ones in the future.

  3. You capture the essence of tension in your poetry. It’s so challenging to watch them learn, find courage, and begin to be their own person. I’m sure you are a sideline cheerleader and encourager, she will take those steps when she is ready.

  4. One time I heard Shelley Harwayne say that to be a parent is to forever wear your heart outside your body. I think that’s true. Being a parent is the hardest, hardest job in the entire world. We never want our kids to hurt or go through hard times. Isabelle has so much love and support from you and Mark, she will be just fine.

  5. It will come. As most of us Slicers know, sharing your voice is hard. But like slicing, she will first whisper with courage and the effects will be profoundly felt. Then she will sing. With pride and love.

  6. As a parent our hearts are filled for our children. Their pains are our pains. From reading your past slices it is so evident that you are doing anything and everything for her. Give it time. . . Have faith . . . As this too shall pass

  7. Carol just said it best, and sometimes that sadness doesn’t seem to stop. All of you love each other and that is what matters most in the long run. I’m glad you shared this post … our lives, our families are so very far from perfect, and it helps somehow, hearing from someone we all respect and love that it hurts. xo nanc

  8. Such a beautiful piece. This is the third SOL I read today where there was focus on daughters. Inspirational especially as it is International Women’s Day. My daughter’s struggles are always those that I carry and are the heaviest for me. It does take time and patience, and encouragement to make it along the way. Each struggle is an opportunity to grow and learn more. Thank you for reminding me of this.

  9. Having one’s voice heard can be too real. I see this in some students I teach. I agonize over how my children feel about new situations. I may just be too empathetic for their own good. Sometimes our time is not their time. I love how you shared this.

  10. Very evocative. It makes me wonder why a girl at her age would be so self-conscious. My goddaughter displays this same reluctance in church that she doesn’t show belting out songs in the car. As a society how have we conditioned our children to be so careful about being right?

    1. For Isabelle, I know her reluctance stems from her Apraxia. For so long, people didn’t understand what she said. (Often people still don’t, but in situations where she’s comfortable, she will use her voice and risk making mistakes because she trusts the people she’s talking to will take the time to figure out what she is saying.) Apparently, this is common for kids with CAS.

      For non-CAS kids, I wonder about what you said. It could be societal. There’s so much pressure to be right, to be first, to be outstanding. It’s definitely food for thought.

  11. I can relate so much to this. Personally and professionally…I have always been the quieter one. I teach at a “Leader In Me” School and we use the language of the seven habits. There is an eighth habit now-finding your voice. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Self confidence is an issue we all face at times. Why? What happened to us that makes us feel everyone will notice if we make a mistake? Luckily, Isabelle has you and you husband to help her through this. She is strong.

  13. Your poem is so beautiful it feels spiritual. I can only echo the voice of others who have said that time and love along with multitude of prayers will carry all of you to the next step and beyond!

  14. This line is incredibly powerful: “One day I hope she finds freedom to use her voice in prayer and in song.” She will. She has come so far. She will overcome this hurdle with all of the rest. I wish this for so many children, for many different reasons, less apparent that the obstacle your precious one is facing.

  15. Stacey, your poem is beautiful and it expresses a raw emotion that I, as a reader and a parent understand. Keep being the foundation that gives your dear Isabelle the courage that she will need in life to develop persistence and determination. And love her, as you so poignantly do, just the way she is. Thank you for inspiring me today.

  16. I know your heart is heavy, but reflect on the distance Isabelle has traveled already and you celebrate. You said it, time and practice. It will happen, then you can both raise your voice together.

  17. Isabelle will sing when she is ready. For now, she knows something very important – her parents love her, support her, and will be ready to celebrate the moment when she feels ready for it to arrive.

  18. Oh what a dear one. I remember when my daughter was in Kindergarten. She was so afraid to talk in class. She was sure she’d make a mistake, and just didn’t know how she could cope with that. As we drove home from school, I reassured her that mistakes are important. We need to make them so we can learn. I guess she heard me. She is now am incredibly confident woman who will be turning 40 this month. Some kids just have to take their time, to listen and watch for a while until they are ready. And that’s perfect. All things in good time!

I'd love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s