mason jar secrets

when we were little,

climbing what looked like

a wooden ladder to us,

we pulled down a shelf

full of mason

jars. kaleidoscope splashes

on the black and white

tile. so many shards of glass,

a couple of tiny, bare feet.

you know how the story ends.

when he was a boy, he worked

his fingers to the bone. his teeth

crooked and his hair wild.

he sold his prize heifer, gold coins in hand,

bought a pair of leather Beatle’s boots.

running through the corn field,

(i want to hold your hand)

he thought he could fly.

when she was young, she talked

to God in the chicken shed. her

face was too pretty for her to stay

safe for long. she fell hard,

threw in with a guy form across the tracks,

they loved too much, too fast.

he was always loosing his shirt

so she had to work

her fingers to the bone. after four

babies and running in the red for way

too long, she threw away her religion

and did what she had to do.

(whisper words of wisdom)

her hair grew, long waves down

her back. her skirts were short-short,

her heart fractured, she

was the broken mirror girl. looking

just the right way you could see

all the secret parts of yourself.

put on your honest eyes and

you can see that the

homecoming queen has wrist scars.

(such a lovely place)

her eyes were ice blue and full of fire.

born in a house, filled to the brim,

she spilled out onto the street.

pick pocket fingers tucked

into the pocket of her pinafore.

sticky fingers made to pull out

sweet treats from the

other kids’ tin lunch boxes.

she fought on the playground,

held her hand to her bleeding ear,

tucked the silver hoop into her sock

so teacher wouldn’t see.

she dreamed of picket fences planted

with purple, pink and peach irises growing.

(i would pick her from the garden)

we sit in the shade, baskets of green beans

at our finger tips, talk, pick-up, snap.

the night cools, inspiring the cicadas

to sing, we share our secrets.

as we tuck the summer away into

mason jars.

(and so it ends, to begin again)

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