coping skills (appearances aren't everything)

Tears come quietly.

They are closeted, tucked silently against the back wall, behind my pressed pants and dry-cleaned shirts. They happen without tissues, but with shirt sleeves and a deft finger swipe and a cool water splash.

While closeted, they are prepared for parade. They are explained to a room full of wide-eyed youth wondering why my eyes are a bit red, my cheeks flushed. They are lived out fully. Navigating the time spent closeted and the time on parade is delicate, occasionally tedious.

Tears careen between the two like muddied river waters. Sometimes destroying, flooding, withholding in dry spells. Sometimes creating, refreshing, bringing life.

Tears are worn as shawls to show where life has stained and where life has wiped clean a piece of previous pains. Sometimes the shawl is spread like wings. Sometimes it clings tightly, closely to me.

Tears come quietly to protect me. Sustain me. Refresh me.

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