Secrets Are Safer

September 6, 2008
By Natasha Rieder, St. Louis, MO

The white walls were spotted
With blue and green flowers
In a sorry attempt to make the
Detroit Medical Center ER

It hadn’t worked, Ashley decided
There was nothing homey about hospitals
Because they smelled like cheap soap, needles, and plastic
And bad things always put people there

That was why Ashley was stuck watching
The regulated pattern of the green line
On the grainy screen coincide with the
Obnoxious beeping of the contraption
Beside her rather uncomfortable bed

Beyond the tangle of cords
Connecting the wall to the machines
Ashley saw Jenny race in through the double doors
The cold rain from outside
Dripping from her shimmering auburn hair
Onto her sad and worried face

Ashley flinched as
Jenny, trying to avoid
The stitched upper left lip
The swollen left cheekbone
The broken ribs
The IV cord
And the two casted hands,
Kissed her

“What happened to you?” Jenny asked
Rubbing Ashley’s least damaged cheek.
Ashley looked into Jenny’s beautiful blue eyes
And answered-

“My dad found out. He doesn’t approve.”

The author's comments:
I'm bi and when my dad found out about her a few months after we started dating, he didn't put me in the hospital but he roughed me up a little...more than once. But three years and four months later we're still together; engaged actually!

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This article has 1 comment.

Rocker Chick said...
on Sep. 19 2008 at 5:03 pm
This poem is so sad and moving, I'm really glad it never actually happened and that it never will, but when I read it, it sure feels like it did. I'm really glad you and your girl are steady and strong and I hope your dad finds it in his heart to let it go, to realize how happy you are, how happy she makes you. Anyhoo... amazzzing poem =)


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