If she pretends to love him
the blackness he carries
might fleck with morning gold.
The fierce wet waves
he brings may shrink, then pool
into rippling blue,
the blades of his words dulled
into curves of soft silver.
She will reach with gentle arms
to loosen his brutal grip,
tight and choking as if she
is his only warmth in a frozen field
more vast than all the sky.
The truth is too close to the sun,
she is safe only in the shade of this lie
so she pretends
as she has many times, pretended to enjoy
an unwelcome kiss, a dry casserole,
pretended that people were smarter than they were.
Always protecting someone,
wrapping their feelings in velvety bandages
because it seemed best
to hide the true thoughts
beneath her thudding heart
as if their power was too great for
this brittle glass world.
Bio: Anne Hunley Trisler is a mother, poet, musician, and award-winning songwriter whose work has appeared on Mothering.com, in Struggle, Barbaric Yawp, The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, and is forthcoming in Mothers Always Write. A winner of the University of Tennessee’s Margaret Artley Woodruff Award for Creative Writing for her poetry and an Eleanora Burke award for her creative nonfiction, she lives in Knoxville, Tennessee.