What Lies Beneath the Lies
Trembling in early fall’s chill air,
I feel a giant dread gnawing at my insides
as I draw closer and closer
to the truth I seek.
Halfway across the large expanse of grass,
I’ll soon be past the line of trees
separating our property from the secluded woods.
Fighting terror’s grip, I press on.
I think of the many times he dragged himself in late.
How he lay beside me on our bed
and how he always thought I was asleep.
In the morning came the excuses:
He had to work late; he was at the gym;
he simply needed to be alone and took a long drive.
Those things did not explain his labored breahing
when he came to bed so late
or the way he dropped his gaze away from me
every time I questioned him about his whereabouts
the night before.
I had started noticing dirt beneath his fingernails.
I caught him a few times
scrubbing at it when he’d awoke from an exhausted sleep.
Last night I waited by the curtained window
and what I saw has brought me
to where I am right now this morning
walking past the tree line, following a trail
into the woods – a trail of foot prints
the same size as my husband’s feet.
It stops suddenly where I see weeds.
My heart is pounding.
Fresh soil has been upturned
and then packed down again
and covered carelessly by brush.
Beyond this spot,
I see other similar large rectangular spaces
covered with scatterings of brush.
I raise the shovel (the same shovel, which from our garage,
had been clean last time I checked it and which now
is covered on its edges with caked dirt.)
He thinks I buy the stories he’s been telling me.
How I dread what I’m about to do,
for soon I will uncover
beneath the lies.
Written Feb. 20, 2017 for Contest of John Lawless
Copyright © Andrea Dietrich | Year Posted 2017