Your voice is a barometer

exposing you naked to the world.

The syrupy voice of mother

who fakes a smile and says,

“I love you,” when her child knows it’s a lie.

The bark of a baritone

with a testosterone face, hands in a fist

who rants in a scatological riff

that alerts others to keep a safe distance.

The fast-talking con artist

with nervous laughter

who talks you into something

you don’t want.

The falsetto high pitch sound

of a grown-up child who tip-toes around

in order not to be seen.

The nasal resonance of a whining sad-sack

who’s miserable persona is ego syntonic

so feels quite at home as a droopy kvetch.

The lilt of a soprano who speaks

with the mellifluous tone of exuberance

and sees with eyes of still laughter.

The mumbler who vocalizes

in a passive-aggressive whisper

and doesn’t really want to be heard.

The unctuous voice of a funeral director

who becomes the person who speaks

with the cadence of despair.

The measured voice of a Doctor

burdened with messages of illness and death

who can no longer smile.

The silence of a mute catatonic

who would really like to kill you.