Keep It Secret

“Shannon, do you have plans this evening? The other teachers and I will go eat together. We want you to join. Do you want to join? You should join.”

After ordering our food, they spent the next 5 minutes practicing my name and asking all the important questions (How old are you? Do you have a boyfriend? What do your parents do?) I answered everything politely, though I was beginning to panic because this would be my first outing with a group that could hardly speak my language, and I wasn’t even able to make more than a few complete sentences in theirs. However, I told myself not to worry, because they all seemed nice and had thought to include me. Surely they were as willing as I was to struggle through an evening of broken Korean and English.

By the end of the first hour, everyone seemed to have forgotten about me. As the food on my plate disappeared, their bodies slowly turned away from me. They dove deep into private gossip, leaning back only to let out explosive laughter. No one looked at me. I stopped looking at them. The second hour began. 

Someone decided for the group that we should all get going. I followed my Mentor/Teacher to her car, and we sat inside. She took a deep breath and looked over at me. “I’m sorry,” she said. I looked out at the road ahead, focused on holding back all my unpleasant emotions, and said nothing.

Anger is trapped in a cage in my heart
Keeping prisoners is this body’s art
When we are all pushed to the limits
He takes hold of Fear, who frequently visits
the side of the cage, and sits ever close,
who delights in the closeness of Anger the most
But Anger is vicious, and knows not his strength
He wrestles and pulls, until Fear’s out of breath
And Anger is blind, so Panic ensues
to break Anger’s grip, his arms like a noose
And Anger lets go, rage flowing away
Fear sits down to breathe
crying tears of dismay
The shock of the moment too great to confess
The silence engulfs us, echoes through my chest
All in a moment my anger was beat
Nerves tingle restlessly, giving off heat
I don’t want to be angry. I will not let you free
Let’s keep our pain secret, and let others be.