Secrets

 Inside of a bald-faced hornet's nest.

Inside of a bald-faced hornet's nest.

"Momma, do you have any secrets?" my son asked as we lay in the dark at bedtime.

Rivers in my mind lit up. I could see the rivers of my mind, all lit up. I thought. A question, a question for sure.

Only this came to mind: Secrets are what I do not tell anyone else. Secrets are what I tell only one other, or maybe two. Secrets change shape. They are. They are quiet places. They are clattering places. Some are icy, some are not. Secrets are private, cloaked in snow, cloaked in faces, covered in shells, embedded and embraced and ejected. I am stung.

In that moment, no pleasing secrets came to mind. No sweet, special moments. No private triumphs. His question was maybe, Momma, tell me secrets. I think, maybe, that could have been his next question.

I told him this: "I had some secret places I went as a girl." I told him about them. These little places I went to just to daydream.

"You already told me about those places, Momma."

"I know."

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