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