i hide so much
it starts at work when
i talk about stories and art
and only empty eyes respond
because they’re not hiding anything
except emptiness
and my problem i think sometimes
is that i am so not empty
i overflow too much
with hurt for people’s pain
and hurt for people’s loss
and tears for war and precious children
and because we allow it to go on
and i have to hide it
because i can’t cry at work
but i have
sometimes
and i clench my jaw
and stare sternly at my monitor
and absorb the tears back into my
eyes and pretend breathing is
easy and wish it didn’t hurt so much
and i hide how i
just want to create
and don’t want to climb the ladder
and i hide how
every day
i wonder if i could
just quit
but i can’t and shouldn’t
and i should man up because this is my
duty and that feels ok
but then i hide when the beautiful song
comes on and i hide
my disappointment that nobody around me cares about that painting
or that sculpture
or that play
or that songwriter
or that actress
and i get to go home
and then i hide how relieving it is to be
with her
because there’s no more hiding

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Jared Garrett

Author of the Beat Series

Hiding