It's been a while, hasn't it?
- Aei.

Listen to Me

She signed all her life.

With a flick of her wrist,

A twitch of her fingers,

The motion of her hand,

And her mouth firmly shut;

She signed words that resounded

Like an orchestra's band.

Her eyes would ignite in flame

Whenever someone would call her name.

She gets excited over a conversation,

Any conversation,

That gives her a chance to proclaim to the world

That she's an equal;

Not an invalid,

But someone whose voice,

Despite the circumstances,

Will always be heard.

And yet there was one time

When she wasn't heard.

There was a man. He was drunk;

His speech slurred.

She was perfectly clear:

"I don't want this," she signed –

And yet he didn't hear.

He forced his way on her.

She tried to get away,

To run away,

She tried to call for help.

But it was a losing hand she was dealt.

Her silent screams were deafening.

In an alley was she later found;

Her body naked, her clothes strewn about.

She was staring numbly at the sky,

He mouth firm, closed;

Her hands by her side.

The man who broke her now long gone.

She glanced at them

And faced their horrific faces

Hovering from above.

She raised her hand from her side

And signed in perfect clarity:

"He didn't hear me."