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As far back as I can remember I have enjoyed writing, drawing, coloring, singing and playing the piano. I have often referred to these creative outlets as my ‘therapists’. It was that safe place where I could pour my soul out without having to feel ashamed, embarrassed, foolish or judged. It is still a safe haven for me today. I never intended for my work to be read, recited or seen by anyone other than myself. It never crossed my mind that it would even be of interest to anyone other than me. My first recorded poem dates back to 1976 where at the tender age of 9, I sat at my parents’ dining room table to pen a poem of appreciation for my mother and father. During my junior year in high school I was required to write poetry for various English assignments. Much of my poetry was written during my high school and college years. It wasn’t until I was in college when a friend of mine read one of my poems and wanted to read more that I learned that my writing was something others could relate to. She was flabbergasted when I told her that I didn’t keep them and that it was just an avenue that allowed me to exhale. She strongly encouraged me to start saving them. Since then, the thoughts and feelings expressed through poetry have served as the “diary” of my life. I have found it amazing to see how my writing style, vocabulary and thought process have evolved over the years. The Inner Voice brings to account some of the love, sadness, infatuation, bereavement and triumphs that I have experienced over the years. It also permits me to share some of my finer “Hallmark” expressions. In addition to writing poetry, I have been inspired to write articles on social issues, respond to commentaries and concerns written in blogs, and give my humble opinion on private matters when asked. Some of these writing I have decided to include in this book. It is my hope that the thoughts and words shared in this book will be that by which others can not only relate to, but be encouraged by and enjoy.