Wednesday, April 9, 2014

H is for hush


These are the stories
we’re not supposed to tell
old twisted stories
you’re not supposed to know
dirty family secrets
not seen in scrapbooks–

Blush over bruises 
glasses cover black eyes 
Shame pushed into her soul 

No nightlight in dark room 
hands tearing away his breath 
and his little boy clothes 

Finger down her throat 
can’t get it all out 
can’t be perfect 

Always outside looking in 
never more than a joke 
sweet cold razor on wrists 

Hospital bed that they whisper 
he deserves for loving those 
who should be shunned 

Wrong skin color can’t change 
wrong accent can’t hide 
wrong life can’t be lived 

These are the stories
that don’t get told
the old tired stories
that no one wants to hear

Don’t look back (let your tongue be silent) 
Don’t make waves (don’t rock our family) 
Don’t embarrass us (get on with your life)
Get over it or get out (we don't want to know)
Forget what you can’t change (forget, forget, forget)
Swallow the words (even if you have to choke)

But these are the stories
that sometimes get told...
and the world ends
and the family shatters
and we all fall down

but we get up–
we rise up and we fly
–how we fly! –
into the endless sky

Copyright 2014 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved. No copying without express permission of the author and publisher. This poem was published in a different form in EndlesS, copyright 2008 by Many Rivers Harbor.


  1. Your poem is so good, sad, but in the end, uplifting. Thank you for sharing it :) Good luck with the rest of the challenge x

  2. Wonderful poem. Intense and emotional. Good luck with the Challenge! :)

    Visiting on behalf of Untethered Realms for the A to Z Challenge.

  3. Powerful words to illustrate why places where trust is expected to be a given is, all too often, not deserved or earned.