Bridget Gage-Dixon

The Pact

Because sometimes life can end unexpectedly,
my sister and I have planned ahead,
agreed to be the administrator
of the other’s illicit estates,
arrive before anyone else,
and sweep away each others skeletons.

I store my secrets beneath the my bed,
boxes brim with small substantiations
of my perverse nature; a journal
stained with my sins, the confessions,
condemnations and confidences that might
expose the sullied edges of my soul.

She’s promised to discard magazines or movies
that might reveal my wanton nature,
sweep the kitchen for my cache of cigarettes.
Keep the flames of fact from destroying
the carefully constructed straw man
my children have made of me.

I’ve promised too, to sterilize her memory,
destroy the pictures beneath her folded socks,
without removing even one from the envelope
marked “maxi-pad coupons”, to flush the Xanax
so they’ll never know that her smile didn’t always
arrive easily.

Because, in the end, each of us understands
how important it is not to disturb the truth with facts.

 


Bridget Gage-Dixon has had poems included in Poet Lore, Inkwell, The Cortland Review, and several others. She received her MFA from Stonecoast and lives in central New Jersey where she teaches English and raises three children.