171,476 words





Jonny Gherman, Landon High School
Photography by Tamara Menzi



Submitted in partnership with Hear My Voice’s project Time for Change. Read more submissions at www.hearmyvoice.weebly.com.

(Published: 2019)





There are 171,476 words in the English Vocabulary,

Words that are found away from the books, and out of the library,

Used to Tell So much more, than just Looks.


Yes words are powerful, they can start a movement.

They can Revolutionize a culture, and be a person’s inducement.

They can build sparks that roar, and minds that Unlock,

But When people use those words, then no one’s left to talk.


Cause I walk outside, and what do I hear,

The N word, The S word, the C word,

You’ve got 171,476 words, and this is how you choose to treat your peer?

People rap about it, sing just the same,

But here comes the sequel, they just think it’s a game.

Why can’t we treat one another as equal,

Instead of wondering who’s to blame.

Do you know that those words are like a needle,


And they make me feel inflamed, ashamed, amines of my voice and rights,

And then you start wondering why so many get Into fights.


Cause in a world with 171,476 words in the English Vocabulary,


Don’t view someone as a foe,

View them as someone you want to know.

Cause in a world with so many options for you to choose,

It only takes 1 word for you to lose.