Holding it all in and carrying it all on top. Dirty hands, sweat, anger. I see it all but I tell nothing. No one thinks to ask what I see.
If you look closely you see the small prints of a child who was playing in the mud or who robbed a piece of apple pie from the refrigerator. You see the smudges of the working man. The pokes, the dents, the holes, each has a story and I know them all. The tales don’t get washed away with 409 or Mr. Clean.
I know the people who live (and have lived) within these walls. I hear their conversations. I see the tears. I know who sleeps at night and who prays, who schemes.
I can’t run out to protect anyone. I don’t have a side to choose. But if you are within my walls I am on your side. I will keep your secrets. You can count on me because no one thinks to ask the wall—unless they see blood.
The color red gets everyone’s attention, but we see clear too. We see everything. We don’t have mouths, but we can talk. If you pay attention, you see the dark coat that covers us from the smoker; the hole behind the picture from an irate fist. The hanging hole made from carrying a heavy load.
People overburden us, then tear us down to make extra space or build new walls. We are built to stand not fall, but who cares, we are just walls. We keep stuff out and we hold stuff in. We harbor secrets and stories. We carry burdens and filth.
We don’t protest because no one would listen anyway. No one thinks to ask the wall. People walk up to us and admire a picture or their faces in the mirror they hung on us. They straighten crooked things they hung on us. They dust the stuff they attached to us, lean on us when they themselves cannot stand, but acknowledge us they do not.
No one admires the wall. The burden bearer, the secret carrier, the protector, and faithful friend. No one tells the wall thank you for separating me from the chaos of outside.
No one thinks to say anything to the wall.
© D.L. Lunsford