Sunday, February 14, 2010

Heart Swollen with Secrets

Happy Valentine's Day. For you, a prose poem, "Heart Swollen with Secrets," from the new manuscript I'm working on:


The heart, swollen with secrets, learns to disguise its voice.

It mimics the reedy peep of a schoolgirl reading, nail-bitten thumb prodding each perplexing word.

It pleads in the cracked baritone of a prisoner begging for water, pressing the pattern of bars into his glistening forehead.

It complains about the heat wave with the bitter whisper of a ballerina in a body cast.

In a teenage voice, it wheedles with the speed of an auctioneer, needing car keys for cruising.

Sometimes, grinning, it charms even you with the oily tones of a politician. Yes, even you, standing there with the empty leash in your hand, blinking and scratching your chin. Too many false voices. Where oh where did your real heart go?

Lately the heart pretends to have no voice at all. Stone-lipped and sulking, it glares out at the world through its gray-green mask of lichens and moss, silent as a boulder.

This evening, in the steamy dusk, you think you hear – at last! – the beautiful, watery song of the wood thrush deep in the oaks. But it is only the heart, that brassy little mockingbird, stealing another song. It practices throwing its own voice, its true and dark and sparkling voice, as far away as it can.

-- CBK

For your holiday entertainment, do a search of the blog, entering the word "heart."

"Heart Swollen with Secrets" was originally published in The Bitter Oleander. The photo is of a tree's heart, up my road near the pond. Click on photo to enlarge image.


Patrice said...

Beautiful writing - and perfect for my personal Valentine mood, even a day late.

Came across you in a comment on assemblage/s. I plan to visit again...

Christine said...

Thanks, Patrice. I'm so glad you found your way here! Do visit again. (Those assemblages were riveting.)