Along the river the water sparkled and grass bent in a breeze that whispered it was finally safe to tell
The Leaves leaned in, breathing in your patience, listening
There were secrets shut up tight for a long time. The kind that I did not want to admit to myself, much less speak. Some I understood, others I didn’t. My heart, tight for so long with the effort of concealing them, willed them out.
I wanted to clamp my hands over my mouth as the little strangers came bustling into the summer sun and stood there, looking naked and pale and staring at me queerly.
Miraculously, Jessica was calm.
The wind slipped over our skin, warmed in the summer sun, mingling quietly with the smell of fresh water and rotting leaves. Momentary and permanent, the ritual of decay, making religion for us.
Years of friendship buoying us, we shared smaller secrets that were like wildflowers, until my own suddenly seemed to have taken on a more legitimate aspect, now with flowers woven into their hair.
Until finally, hungry and tired, we exited the forest, leaving the protection of the trees behind us.
Some sorrow had moved into the place where the tightness had been; but the door to my heart, tightly shut for so long, opens now.