by Elouise


Secrets of my body
pause, linger, bleed slow
through veins
barely alive, gasping—
for Air.

The cost of keeping family and personal secrets weighs heavy. Not just on my mind and emotions, but on my heart. Which is to say, my whole body—soul, spirit and body systems included.

Contrary to the way I’ve imagined it, secrets aren’t stored away somewhere inside me, in a locked closet. Contained. Restrained. Ignored. Left to rot and die.

Instead, they leak fumes into the atmosphere of my whole body—disruptive, choking, nauseating fumes. From one body system to another they travel, lingering and doing their mischief. Taunting me, fighting in my intestines, taking my heart by storm or sucking the breath out of it.

Secrets hate the light of day. They hate being defrocked. Exposed. Turned inside out. Discarded.

And so they leave me reminders, lest I forget. Reminders engraved here and there throughout my body. Time capsules waiting to be discovered.

I’d rather live with the once-upon-a-time of scars than with the secrets that begot them.


It’s a stormy day outside, blizzard conditions. I’m happy to be sending this out to you from the warmth of my home. An unanticipated pleasure on a bitter cold Saturday morning!

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 23 January 2016
Photo credit: DAFraser, August 2010
Aging Water Oak at the end of Montgomery Road, Savannah, Georgia