Marbles of Truth

The truth sat uncomfortably in his mouth.
Like marbles.
He longed to spit it out,
To vomit truth and hold nothing back.

He began to speak,
The first marble dropping into his hand,
In a dripping pool of pus and phlegm.

The truth sat uncomfortably there,
And all the others did was stare.
More marbles chipped at his teeth,
Eager to escape.
But he had lost his nerve,
The reception of this first truth unsettling.

He turned,
Clasping the first marble close,
Hiding it,
Wishing it unsaid.
For days he sat,
Paralysed by the truth
That threatened to choke him,
His lips clamped shut.
Until a friend he trusted held out his hands,
Offering to take the marbles.

I don’t mind the spit, the pus, the phlegm,
Said the friend,
I care for you.
Spit out your truth,
And together we can share it.
And so he did.
Lining two pairs of hands,
The marbles looked unnatural at first,
But with time, both friends grew used to them,
With more time came more hands,
Lined not only with his marbles,
But with others’ too.

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