The Day that I Quit Keeping Secrets


I quit keeping secrets

one day

when the bomb inside of my stomach

threatened to detonate and

destroy me

and everyone around me.

It was not easy,

you see,

for the mask that clung to my face

for years upon years

would not budge,

as I stripped it off slowly at first,

but realized this was not the way

for skin peeled with it

leaving me

silently screaming,


in excruciating pain.

I understood that quitting

(in my case)

meant ripping off the band-aid

that had been

put on me

at an early age

with a glue that appeared

to become more adhesive

as each year passed.

The day I quit keeping secrets,

all hell broke loose

for quitting anything

that has become a part of who you are

is near impossible.

Looking back,

I remember this day vaguely,

in snap-shots…

I am sitting in a car with a woman

who keeps glancing at me,


chattering away as if the silence,

if left unbroken,

will absorb us both,

casting us into some kind of


I am in a white room

sitting in a cushioned chair,

the woman holding my hand,

my hand that is so cold that

it feels dead.

I am in a new room

with a desk and windows,

being asked questions about a secret…

my secret.

Each question causes my face to redden,

more and more,

as I,

an embarrassed thirteen year old,


“Don’t you know

that people don’t talk about these things,

as you ask me for details,

dirty details,

as if discussing weather?”

I am hiding behind a sofa,

a soda machine

humming to my left,

radiating heat to my body,

which is so cold that it feels as if it is

not mine. Not mine.

Not mine.

“Come out,”

(The officer says)

“Come and see your mother.”

But I cannot see my mother,

now that she knows.

I cannot see my mother.

I cannot see my mother,

now that she knows.

“Mom stop crying,”

(I plead to her

as she clings to me,

clings to me as if her life

depends on it)

“This isn’t your fault”

I say,

“This isn’t your fault”

Fault. Fault. Whose fault?

Guilt, Shame, Guilt, Shame.

Whose fault?

That day we went home,

his truck still in the drive way,

a testament of

unfinished business.

I listened to music

as if my life

depended on it

as she cried and cried,

stuffing big black garbage bags.

So many big black garbage bags.

I will always see those bags,

looking malicious

as if they were stuffed

with bodies

instead of clothes

and other

personal items.

Perhaps they were filled

with each and every secret,

each and every lie

that was ever told

to keep my secret.

Each bag sitting on the curb

waiting to be taken

to the dump,

as if erasing

any trace of him

will erase the past.

That is the day that I quit;

The day that I quit

keeping secrets.


Filed under life, real, Uncategorized

13 responses to “The Day that I Quit Keeping Secrets

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  9. Very well written, personal and poetic. You have a talent!

  10. Wow, I fell upon this poem accidentally (if there is such a thing). Powerful, as truth often is. I send you light and love, hopeful that your healing progresses. And do keep writing, it is a gift to us all.

  11. Gosh. This is very moving and powerful.

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