Mother thought secrets went with you to the grave
where they grow mushrooms or push at dry leaves.
I think secrets live in cups
pass from lips to ears and back.
Grandmother and I drank tea from cups pink with apple blossoms
ate cookies with just a hint of lemon and she told me
my great-grandfather, on the other side,
was the only Democrat and the only drunk
in Bremen, Ohio.
I told my daughter, over coffee, I knew for a fact
that my mother always loved another man
and I could see in the brown reflection
against a white stoneware mug the truth of rumor
that he had once
taken her where evening turns sheets to amber.
© 2006, Janet Taliaferro