I am made mostly of secrets. Childhood, mine and others. Poured into a strong foundation. I listened, and they filled a place I didn’t understand.
A beacon, my husband says. A hearth.
It feels good to be the hearth? No, it never felt good; it just was.
A duty, yes, that feels true. Cradled in these ears, filtered through the heart. Locked safely. Carefully.
“Wait–let me open the vault.” You’d laugh. I’d look into the distance for a moment. Three breaths, “OK, go ahead.”
At night, I would knit my small forehead into a furrow, and guard my system against consumption. Not mine, a hundred times over.
Wrap them, shush them, put them to sleep.
A gift, a calling, whatever word serves the purpose. I put my secrets in a safe place too.
Stir the depths. Compost down. Make room.
Depression–the kind that comes when you so readily embrace full truth, filtered light, dark places. No illusions. Sturdy raft, good paddle. Rest.
To wear this aura of trust. Welcoming arms soft and warm and wide. To say no, that is too heavy, you can put it down. Please put it down.
You need to hold it a little longer? Not mine. Lunch next week? I love you.
And I’ve got strong arms, and grief that’s composted into new fuel. A laugh that is broad and bright, and now that vault is sealed. Humble and empty. Buoyant.
More secrets? No problem.
We’ll plant them together, in the daylight, and then they’ll be cleaned by the moon’s soft light, too. As you approach, you’ll see the flowers. So many different flowers.
We are the ones who define the truth. Normal is you, and it’s me. It’s all of us.