The Secret Keeper

Can’t say I wrote any compositions like this as Sunday night homework when I was fourteen.

The Secret Keeper (by Rebekah Anderson)

To a bird, I’m a home. To a child, I’m a ladder. To a neighbor, I’m privacy. To a yard worker, I’m a nuisance. To a lawn mower, I’m a yield sign. To most people, I’m a part of the scenery that will only be noticed by my absence. I’m the living thing that eagerly reaches its many arms upward, toward the rare Ohio sunshine. The plant that dresses with the seasons. That bears the dent of your first mowing lesson. That used to carry you into the wind—tire and all. The jungle gym whose knots and branches made me the best climbing tree in the whole neighborhood.  I’m the one who held your grimy, bloody fingers the first time you tried to climb me. That lost some bark to your grip, and took some of yours in return. I’m the one who held the first baby birds last spring. Whose shady branches read with you all last summer. Who looks into your bedroom window in the bitter winter weather, trying in vain to escape the cold. I’m the one who owned this property for decades before your arrival and will be here long after you’ve gone. I’m quiet, but not unaware. I hold secrets no human will ever discover. Secrets of past centuries. Secrets of recent sorrows. Secrets too dear for words, disclosed only during the whispers of my leaves and the creaking of my branches. 

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7 Responses

  1. Wow. I would say she should get a creative writing degree, but she’d probably do just as well without one.

  2. She definitely has a knack for expressing things in a poignant way. And the “dent of your first mowing lesson” made me smile. :)

  3. Just. wow.

  4. Beautiful work. Makes me want to go climb a tree.

    “I hold secrets no human will ever discover.”

    How often I’ve thought about this, upon seeing such living, ancient landmark. That is good writing…it makes you think beyond it. :)

  5. Oh, I like this! Good job, Rebekah! This would be a great monologue!

  6. After I read this I went out and hugged a tree!

  7. Amazing work, Rebekah!!! Very insightful and impression. Can’t wait to read a book that has your name printed on the front :-)

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