POETRY

Secrets

By

Some thrive in an arbor of privacy
             like wisteria.

Others rot in the dark
             long for the eye’s regard.

18th century women wore brooches –
             miniature paintings of secret lover’s eyes

             set in gold, surrounded
             by seed pearls and amethysts.

For some secrets
             there’s a teller and receiver.

Think of a seesaw,
             level before the telling

             And then
the secret revealed

      Whose end
             drops?

Ellen Goldsmith is the author of two chapbooks—Such Distances and No Pine Tree in This Forest Is Perfect, which won the Hudson Valley Writers’ Center 1997 chapbook contest and was described by Dennis Nurkse, the contest judge, as an “incandescent collection.” “The Secret of Life” from Such Distances was read by Garrison Keillor on Writer’s Almanac. A resident of Cushing, Maine, she is a professor emeritus of The City University of New York.

Some thrive in an arbor of privacy
             like wisteria.

Others rot in the dark