“Hoarded Tears”

by Boomer Anderson

(“Hoarded Tears” mobile version)

That knock
That awful knock

Strange how a simple collection of boards
Just tapped upon
Can conjure the sound of doom

You have waited for it for years
Have heard it in your dreams
Played and replayed it a million times
Yet when it finally comes
It is as new and as startling
As a razor in the dark

The tapping is sharp, insistent
Professional and polished
Like the person making it
You could look through the peephole
But why?
You know what awaits on your porch
Having already seen it

Never one, always two
Protocol demands it
Their uniforms starched and pressed and perfect
Buttons and shoes polished to a Hollywood sheen

And the faces
Not so different from your child’s
But they avoid your eyes
And they look so very serious
You want to poke them, make them laugh
But this is no time for laughter

The words they have for you
Aren’t written down
No need, since they’ve been said so many times before
“The secretary has asked me to express…”

For a moment
You push it all away, remembering
It is a perfect morning, and the robins are trilling
And he brings something to you in his hands
His face alive with wonder
He holds his palms up to you
A blue egg, perfect, just there
“Mommy, look!”

Gravity reaches up
And pulls you to the floor
You want to scream
But don’t know how yet
That will come later
For now, at least
The tears you’ve been hoarding for years
Are finally set free.