Songs of the South: Hide and Seek

As we talk about facing into our pain, heartache, and failing by owning up to these as we live out the prayer “forgive us our sins and we forgive those that sin against us,” I am reminded of a poem I wrote about this theme.

How do you face into and not hide these difficult experiences and feelings yourself?  I hope this poem helps you open up.

Your progressive redneck preacher,



Hide and Seek

hide and seek

I remember hiding

in the cool shade of overhanging branches

the damp musty smell of fallen leaves

crunching underfoot.

Others were running trying to find me

but I was calm, hidden in the shadows.


Hiding has never just been a game for me.

I learned early hiding was a way to not be drawn into

their shouting matches

a way to be clear of drunken rages and manic swings.

The ground was steady in the shadows.

The overhanging branches felt as safe as an embrace.


hide and seek 2


Perhaps this is why one of the first games I remember was in the woods

with my brother and sister building a fort,

or why I dreamed of doing like Huck Finn

and building a raft

I would ride on through that wooded creek

out into the sunset.


I learned hiding early and it I learned it well.

I learned to duck out to avoid the taunts and fists of bullies.
I learned to slip away when people spoke of holidays,

not wanting them to see what we lacked

and I learned not to mention the street corner by my house

lest folks see its disarray.

abuse 1

I learned most importantly to hide

my anger, my tears,

my weakness, my fears,

lest it be seen as weakness

not just by the bullies at the school

but by people at home

who too early

I learned I had to protect.


This has left a fear that paints the horizon of my sky

not with rosy hues but shadows,

shadows that both conceal and accentuate

terror and confusion,

yet which are cool and refreshing from the summer heat

of other’s stares.


hide feelings

Most of all I hid from my own vision,

for the one most ready to reject

what I hide in my shadows

is myself.


Yet I am learning to move out of the shadows,

for I’ve found

the funny thing about hiding in them is

it may seem “see no evil, hear no evil” works

as you cover you eyes and ear,

but it sure makes it hard to drive.

Navigating the road with blinders on the windshield

is a bitch,

a certain recipe for a wreck.




One thought on “Songs of the South: Hide and Seek

  1. Pixie Wildflower says:

    Great words.

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