What I Could Never Tell My Mother

By Margaret Westenhoff

What I could never tell my mother
Isn’t her fault; it’s mine
It’s things wrapped inside of me, coiled like wire with the filament exposed
She could accept them – those things – I’m sure
Maybe even love them the way she loves me; little puzzle pieces
That fell out of the box when we were putting it under the sofa
After we almost finished the puzzle together
But I hide them inside my deepest aorta
Keeping them safe because who wants to grab a still-beating heart?
It would kill me to take those secrets out
So my mother may know they exist
But she lets me keep them.
And maybe that’s the real secret, the one that
Shhhh
She doesn’t know –
It’s that I need some secrets of my own.

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