Identity – A Poem about Deafness by Martyn Brown

For far too long
I took the coward’s way
The sheep that never strayed
From the safety of sameness
Comforted by shadows
Evading detection
Making my presence unheard
Stubbornly proud
To suffer in silence
No voice to call my own
Confidence ebbing away
Buried the truth
Less chance of rejection
An air of mystery
Much easier to convey
Armour intact
No weakness on parade
Better to play the fool
Than announce myself as me
Smoke and mirrors
Educated guesswork
Nods and random answers
Communication roulette
Human nature
So hard to intercept
Takes a magician’s touch
To conjure words from thin air
Another world
Brought realisation
That I am not alone
Many more have trod this path
Amongst fellow strangers
Common understanding
A feeling of coming home
My face finally fits
A future to relish
Ghosts of the past laid to rest


Martyn Brown
From the UK, Martyn Brown is a deaf grandad in a hearing family. He regularly speaks for the National Deaf Children’s Society and currently chairs a local group. Martyn relies on digital aids, lipreading and is a black-belt in the Deaf Nod. Martyn regularly writes poetry for The Limping Chicken, a deaf awareness news site based in the UK.


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