There is no hiding within
rural communities, the gossip hubs
of small towns team with news
at the doughnut shop, the feed store
trading in common tragedies:
DUIs, divorces, suicides.
We learn to live with guilt, grab
hold to stand beside the twisted
truth of being human, wear
the shame of each unpolished flaw
to endure self-inflicted tortures
until we escape this flesh.
No one is anonymous, no passing
face on the street. But sometimes
all the imperfections bloom
beyond the anguish, each petal
turned skyward to drink up the sun
and rain—and we are whole
for moments that no one has words
to describe, or time to take
to indulge in such nonsense.