Every child in Hidden Valley

holds a vegetable stand outside

their home. They all have

a bowl of carrots, celery, and broccoli

and a big bowl of ranch

There are only two grocery

stores in Hidden Valley, one

that sells veggies that are fresh

every day and GMO free

and another whose produce looks

a little darker and bruised

but it would taste good with

the right ranch.

All the restaurants only serve

vegetables. This one serves them

grilled, this one serves them

steamed, this one baked, another fried,

another serves them raw.

Every table has at least three bottles of

ranch on it, each a different kind.

They have every flavor you could imagine

Bacon and egg, Cheeto, donut, steak

and potato, apple, even carrot flavored

Once a week, everyone bathes

in a tub of ranch that is soap flavored

Perfumes smell like flower flavored ranch

Kids read books about ranch saving

the world or healing the sick.

They have ranch kegs

at backyard barbecues.

In the rom com the boy apologizes

to the girl with a heart shaped box

full of ranch cups.

Souls desperate for foods not flavored

with ranch sneak out to the darker

grocery store and ask for three

week old eggplant

They are taken to the basement

where they find real food

like fruit and bread and chips

and all the sweetness they desire

On their way out, they burn the wrappers

leaving no trace of their purge.

That is what is hidden in the valley