Secrets Hidden in a Pear Tree | Cathryn Shea

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Cathryn Shea is the author of five chapbooks, including “Backpack Full of Leaves” (Cyberwit, 2019) and “It’s Raining Lullabies” (dancing girl press, 2017). Her first full-length poetry book is forthcoming from Unsolicited Press. Cathryn’s poetry has been nominated for Sundress Publication’s Best of the Net and appears in TypehouseTar River Poetry,GargoylePermafrostRust + MothTinderbox, and elsewhere. Cathryn is a fourth-generation northern Californian and lives with her husband in Fairfax, CA. She served as editor for Marin Poetry Center Anthology. See and @cathy_shea on Twitter.

The Secrets Hidden in a Pear Tree

All my petty sins, so small,
I still think they are important
enough to admit to the pear tree
in the back yard.

I don’t attend church anymore
and I’ve devised my own sacrament
of confession.
I took the Lord’s name in vain.
I said fuck three times.
No one even heard me.

I carried a secret in my womb
after my second child was born.
I wanted more children. I wanted
to become pregnant over and over,
at least six more times.
I wouldn’t have latchkey kids.
I’d stay home, change poopy diapers,
chase toddlers, finger paint and bake
Play-Doh all day long.

I never told anyone,
least of all my husband.
Instead, I told the pear tree
and I took the pill.