the secret

there was a man, his wife, and their son. he worked the coal mines, she tended a shop. the boy went to school.

life was peaceful. they worked, they studied, they loved.

the secret came unexpectedly. the wife buried it. it needed to go away. to be lost in the coal mines as it were. deep underground. silence prevailed. the secret would be hers. alone.

time passed. she held the secret close. but she could not silence her body. the husband questioned her. it was her secret. he became angry. he demanded to know. her body announced. the secret was theirs. together.

he loved his wife. but this could not be. no one could know. no job could be kept. no schooling could be continued. prolific fines would be levied. they would lose their home. their possessions. he cried. she cried. the Secret kicked.

the wife no longer worked at the market. no one could know. he went to the mines. no one could know. he kept quiet. she hid. both a prisoner of the secret. months passed. life was solemn. no one spoke. the pain was too great. the day arrived. her body worked to bring forth the Secret. she endured the pain. silently. no one must know.

her head was perfectly round, her eyes a deep brown, her hair as black as the night that welcomed her. her skin like porcelain. she was perfect. he cried, she cried, the Secret cried. blankets held back the sound. silence. no one must know. the time would pass too quickly. they must remember everything. her smell, her sounds, her tender toes and graceful fingers. they touched her. they must feel her and never forget. they bathed her. they adored her. they prepared.

it had been two days. she held their Secret. she wept. she bundled her for the winter air. she loved her. she screamed. she pounded the ground. silence. no one must know. she caught her breath and screamed again. this was too much. she could not do this. this was more than could be asked of anyone. she squeezed the Secret close to her chest. she felt her heart beat. she muffled her screams in the warm blankets. silence. no one could know.

they walked quietly. out of the warmth of their home and into the cold, bitter night. she turned around. she turned around again. her mind was confused. grief does that. was this really happening? she was shaking. the cold air. the depth of heartache. her tears ran like ice cubes down her cheeks. where was she going? what was she doing? grief clouded her. she couldn't make out the familiar streets. she wandered. the Secret was quiet. she must be too. her feet kept walking. she would walk forever. she would disappear. her and her Secret. she began to run. to where, she did not know.


the husband, the boy. she loved them too. this was a dream. no, a nightmare. a horrible, horrible nightmare. her body was wet. tears, sweat, the agony of grief. the Secret was getting restless.

here. before the light of day. silence. no one must know. she tightened the blankets, pulled them up around her face. how many kisses must she give to make up for a lifetime? she picked her up. she put her down. she picked her up. she ran. no. she must. she must what? confusion. panic. the sun was coming. she placed her on the sidewalk. she took one last look. she ran. empty arms. she ran. she wept. silently. no one must know.

the secret had been kept. the Secret could not be kept.


jsldove said...

wow, only a mothers heart would know

dawn said...

this is beautiful. making me cry this morning.

Ashleigh, just found your blog...looking forward to having a chance to read more and catch up on you guys...