the secret day

and so the day comes
again
as it has every year
since

there’s no one to notice anymore
but one

alone in the corner of a dimly lit room
she pulls out the tattered memory
uncertain–
not sure–
why she continues to hang on to it
or what to do as she opens it
and gazes back
into what once was

~once more~

do others have secret days,
she wonders,
days that all who remembered and remarked
are gone,
save one

do others wipe the tears away
and wonder that a smile can still come
upon first glance back
before the chasm between then and now
steals the joy away once more

leaving only the salty tang of sadness
and a faded memory no one shares anymore

the present calls her back
with a gentle jolt
this now is different
and good

this day will come again
but until that time
she folds the memory away once more
and tucks it beneath the chest in the corner–
thankful that it ever was,
yet okay with letting it go

finished remembering for now,
she rises slowly and turns toward the door,
pulling it to
behind her
as she walks forward
into the light

proof of angels

for days and weeks and then months

so many spoke of “after the war is over”

and finally, when the months turned into years,

those words were spoken less and less

and the haze that hung over the city

and the dark curtains over the windows

were no longer distinguishable from what we remembered

from before

which seemed like a dream

 

there were even those for whom life without war,

without doling out what we had carefully,

had never been

 

and when the thoughts of the fighting,

the eternal fighting and hatred and fear,

were all we had

besides the occasional rumor that came along

to cause hope to flutter in our chests

if ever so briefly

 

and no one talked of it ever being over anymore,

I looked out the window one day, peeking around the curtain

before dawn

and I saw proof of angels–

of kindness

of caring for others

that was so natural for those who did,

it embodied who they were

 

and so it was that each day that began in darkness

the sun rose

and so did those who cared,

those who might no longer speak of peace

but who rose up from dreams of it

and shared what they could

 

the only weapons they carried were love

and a thermos of coffee

 

and both were more powerful than ever thought possible

 

 

behind the lock and key

photo taken by Jason Hobbs

photo taken by Jason Hobbs

the old door

pulled to and held there

by a rusty old lock

 

those who happen upon it,

set back off the main road,

wonder what is behind the door

they peer with cupped hands through the dusty windows

hoping to catch a glimpse of what is inside,

of what is so treasured

and held dear

that it must be kept safe

and away from prying eyes

behind the lock and key

 

not many know

but I do

that there are stories and ghosts

hiding in the shadows

some full of laughter and joy

but far more are dark and sad

and filled with mourning

and best left as undisturbed

as the dust on the shelves and floors inside

 

left just as if someone got up in the middle

of their day

and would be back directly

only now they are almost all gone

and only those of us left who know the stories

and the dreams that no longer breathe

have the key

and none of us have the heart to go back inside

and get what is best left forgotten

 

some stories are best left untold

leave the dead to bury the dead

and the door to the past closed