Day 12 of a poem a day from Vagabonding, my second poetry book manuscript (this one from the “One Step Forward” section, around “Courage“).


I told a secret
that I thought would explode!
But nothing much happened;
it merely fizzled by the road.

No one much cared,
or else no one got it.
Or maybe they were waiting
for a better secret—not it.

But it gave me a momentum,
and I kept on telling truths
that I had hidden in a holster,
shapeless to eyeing sleuths.

They had taken on my warmth
from being kept so near my skin.
They had grown a part of me,
their hard shapes pushing in.

Taken out, a strange thing happened
in the cold air and bright light
of other people looking,
fearless, at their might.

Their hardness melted
and with it, their power
to push in. Perhaps their only power
was in pressing through my skin.

I kept a secret
that I was meant to keep.
It did not weigh me down
or press into me deep.

I think it might be growing
in the darkness of my heart,
where if it should flame or flower,
it won’t tear me apart.