Smothered in Secret

His teachers love him.
His classmates, too.
When I pick him up
the girls all wave at him nervous,
coquette-careful.
He smiles back, nodding,
normal as any boy
and, after closing the car door,
transforms instantly into the sullen mute
I know so well.

His body contains multitudes:
the charmless churl about the house
who can’t remember to flush the toilet
as well as this debonair boy about town
whom all the school loves.
Which boy is the real one?
Does he transform at my sight?
Am I his kryptonite?

This raging tween…
he’s a conundrum
shrouded in mystery
wrapped in an enigma
simply smothered in some secret sauce
– a reference I took from
a TV show
which I won’t divulge.
He’s confusing, is what I’m saying
and maybe I should ask him directly
what’s going on
amongst his ever-changing moods,
but I cannot imagine getting any answer
other than the monosyllabic.

I’m sure I’ll better understand him
just as soon
as he grows out
of these eventual teenage years.

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