Today is World Poetry Day and we’re excited to present the Young Norfolk Laureate, Ciera Drury, reading her poem ‘100 Years of Silence [Women’s Vote]’ at Dragon Hall, here in Norwich UNESCO City of Literature.

The Young Norfolk Laureate is supported by the Young Norfolk Arts Trust.

Find out more about World Poetry Day.

Plagued by her thoughts; an unfamiliar voice
Utters words of depreciation
That permeate the silence

The depths of her mind etched out
In a cross of grey
Smudging her opinion
& craftily painted lips
Colour staining porcelain skin
Is she worth more than this?

She holds a touch that’s feather-light
& sleek as a ballroom floor
A symbol of fragility
Encased in a false serenity

Adorning her heart on her sleeve
As she paces relentless streets
Filled with dark corners &
Societal mourners grouped in an
Atypical fleet

Protest leaks from the edges
Of delicately pencilled eyes
Fluttering from the lashes of
An unbound compromise

Why should women have to disguise
& present themselves with a mask,
To be a walking “pop of colour” with a mind kept
Sheltered in the dark?

One hundred years of silence
& a proudly retained composure
Held together with a smile & the promise
Of change creeping ever closer

She isn’t just an object
Which is easy on the eye
She’s not merely a victim
Failed by a system
That doesn’t try

To mediate opinion
& value individual worth

For this girl is wholly human
& that’s what should be put first