A Lady of a Million Secrets

Saturday, September 4, 2021

Trees, trees.

“You would lie on the gold chair, watching leaves blow in the wind. Your father would come home after work, watch you watching the leaves.” My mother’s smart eyes softened as she pictured him.

I grew up on Third Street in a second story apartment. It was an older Wisconsin home with big windows. As a child, I would pretend that we lived in a treehouse. We were a full story above the street, hidden by pines and sprawling oaks.

Secrets.

I’m a woman of a million secrets.

Hardly any of them I own.

Yours are here too, among the many.

I hold the secrets of men and women.

I hold them all silent, but that has taken years.

A million secrets.

Years to hide them, years to let them cry, years to build my soul.

Years of secrets that never uttered a sound.

Remember the secrets spilled? Do you remember my eyes as I gathered them?

Ugly, baseless, clumsy words shared among tongues?

Remember the moments I should not have seen? The hatred?

Remember the anger which spun amongst them?

Ah, but I did

see the mouths speak without grace. I heard

Behind the walls of egos with my own. I did

Witness the impact of your

Secrets.

A million.

From the voices of childhood I held the tempest firmly.

From the proclaimed I held unto their proclamation that I was weird and a no-good, laughable Jew.

From the callous, I kept the sting of his disregard.

I held the peculiarities of their covenants. As secrets

Of my own.

And I watched. I trembled. I gathered

remnants of souls shattered. I picked up those pieces,

Pieces of secrets which seeped into my being.

My fiber woven.

Your secrets lie within me.

The second brass ring.

Training.

I am now too busy for secrets.

I live in a world now which there are secrets in each dollar bill I touch, in each credit card,

In every receipt.

Years have trained me to not absorb each pardon I feel.

Secrets no longer press upon my ribs to be shouted from the breath in my lungs.

No longer do they tap, tap, tap at my teeth to be free.

“Please, speak of me, speak of me.”

My reply comes whispered, “No, no thank you.”

Trees.

“How many times will I not be struck by the beauty of trees or the memories of lakes and rivers?” I wondered as I commuted for the umpteenth trip to work. I drove slower. I turned the music louder.

When I had been tired, this summer I spent as much time as I could outside, in the woods. Mostly I napped under the apple tree! Last year I had spent summer moments breathing in the stormy air of Lake Superior with my son.

And I drove my daily drive, refueling my senses with the passing wooded vistas. I saw eagles floating over the Wisconsin River.

I remembered my father. My mind remembered secrets.

And the memory of those secrets fueled my soul, as the eagles

Floated above and the trees gathered

Around me.

The memory of those secrets, millions of them,

veined in leaves of every tree, feathers of each eagle, and

Bleeding into my soul.

I saw thousands of secrets gossiped in the greens and aired in the nice winds which

Tickled the wings of eagles.

In the sky of night, I saw secrets of stars poking through the dark oblivion.

My heart leaped, pulsing in response to their call.

Millions of secrets no longer boiled with the hatred of their creators. I no longer felt the confusion of evil.

From the brick walls, I felt in them everything I had ever touched.

Everything I had ever tried.

Everything I had failed. I had only seen

The cry.

I had only painted happiness with the colors of my sorrow. But the secrets

Now burrow within me, within the trees I see, the eagles I watch.

For the remaining time of my life, those secrets are my energy.

Pushing me to see the green of trees, the force of eagles, the beautiful mystery of starry skies.

Those million secrets within me?

I use them.

To see

To watch

To feel.

I am, therefore,

A lady of a million secrets.

Lots of love, Luv.

~tbd.

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