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We keep secrets here.

By Whitney GuerreroPublished 2 years ago 3 min read

What are the secrets you keep, and who are you protecting by holding onto them? What are the consequences of those secrets being told, and are they worth the repercussions?

I mainly ask these questions to my parents.

The man is dead

The lady lives

The hose is in the shed

The seeds are spread

The garden gives

A harvest full of lead

From this garden

Full of poison

The children will be fed

Of the water

From this hose

The children will be wet

The lady lives

The man is dead

The children full of lead

Mommy and Daddy are your secret keepers, your monster eaters, your fear chasers, your protectors. But what happens when they keep secrets from you, or when they become the monsters that try to eat you? Who protects you from them? I guess the only solution is to eat them instead.. and, well, you are what you eat.

There are moments when I hear my father's tone in my voice while I'm singing. Moments when I let out a loud breath like my mother... I hold my right thigh while I drive like she does, or I look at myself too much in the mirror the way he used to. These mannerisms and behaviors set off alarms in my head and raise my hackles. I guess I shouldn't have eaten my parents.

In truth, I only ate them in my imagination. I gobbled up my dad's ghost when I grew tired of being angry at a man I couldn't see. I have written the story of his suicide in my head a million times. Each version I wrote I gobbled up too, never satisfying the hunger for a real answer of what he looked like before his last elective breath.

I'm honestly still working on my mother. She's more like a tough piece of steak still sitting in my cheek that I'm refusing to swallow. But if I spit it back out, that means I have to look at it.

I'll just keep chewing.

My real fear is that I’m the rotted fruit of their garden, and all I will do is keep turning. Turning into mush and recycling back into that same garden. Maybe at least that way, my kid won't want to eat me.

Plant the children in the ground

Look down to see

What their idle hands have found

The children reap

The mother sows

The man is dead

The garden grows

Some might say my father took the easy way out--closing the door forever to escape the consequences of his actions. Others might mistake his cowardice for utter sadness. But in reality, what took my father straight to hell was his most redeeming quality: determination. And that man was determined to take his secrets to the furnace.

My mother still has to buzz around us, no longer the queen bee of the hive. Her secrets are out now, and the buzzing she hears isn't the sweet hum of her worker bees aiming to please her. But she pretends it is, and flies around with her big presence, as if nothing has changed. Secrets remain secrets as long as you pretend they were never spoken.

The lady lives

The man is dead

The root rot spreads

Up to their heads

fruit of my loins.

I might not make it out of the garden, but I sure as hell won't let my child stay. I will do my best to usher him out, but politely show him around so he knows where not to come back to. I will close the gate with love, and send him on his way.

sad poetry

About the Creator

Whitney Guerrero

Whitney is a second generation Mexican-American woman originally from Northern Virginia. Currently based in Cary, North Carolina, she is a dance teacher, avid crocheter, graphic designer, mommy to one, and writes when the spirit moves her.

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