There are secrets that you know

I used to keep a diary for travels
where I noted down each Kodak moment snapped.
It’s a hard covered notebook; grey textile, lined paper
(but lacking margin) where I penciled notes
of pictures from my train-trips over Europe,
and of our walks together into wilderness.
Mostly it is dry and boring, places more than people but
I’ve noted down the time and place
where we got engaged.
A place beside a lake where we decided on our future
and made promises to keep.

there’s a pocket in the covers of my notebook
where I’ve kept mementos, tickets, notes, receipts.
But I also know that in that pocket
there’s a photograph of her, another girl.
It’s never been a secret that others came before you.
You even knew that girl, you’ve met and talked,
between that girl and me, it was over when we met.
but still it feels like treason
that I’ve kept her image in that notebook.
I think you know about the photo,
and there’s a box of letters
you have kept that I will never read.

Secrets © by Luc Tuymans

Secrets © by Luc Tuymans

Today Mish is having Poetics at dVerse and wants us to write poetry on a memento. Select one and try to bring it to life through emotions and story. Pub opens at 9 PM CET.

February 28, 3017

25 responses to “There are secrets that you know

  1. Ah yes….our lives (and almost loves) before…..
    I especially like the last three lines. Very rare that thee one is also the first one, at least in the sense of thinking one is in love.

  2. Those secrets….are best kept in the past, if its long forgotten. Time has a way of dating ourselves young and carefree, but do we really want to go back to those thing already over and done with. I threw mine all away. Good one Bjorn ~

  3. My wife hates all photos my ex-wives–so I keep them out of sight. Nostalgia is a stern master.

  4. I love this, Björn! I used to keep all kinds of ex-boyfriend stuff but I got rid of them because they upset someone. I wish I’d kept them now.

  5. Good write Bjorn …I love the way you take us in sharing something personal and special and then add the twist ….and then twist again with the close.

  6. This is SO BEAUTIFUL. One of the most difficult things about loving someone can be accepting their past and allowing it to be a part of the present without fearing that it will influence the future.

  7. I like those last lines, especially. Unshared memories and mementos go both ways…and don’t change the magic of what IS, now. I love this.

  8. Think, we all these mementos of our past, we keep, in tracing our journey, through life, which we can’t share with our partner, for whatever reason, that feels like we’re betraying someone, close to us.

  9. The title is perfect. Some secrets really aren’t secrets at all. Some things are easier to leave be. But I do think old flames are tiny pieces of who we are…and so I keep the photos too.

  10. Have kept those old photos and letters in a box in storage. Only I know about them; sometimes I go back to look, not ready to get rid of them…each beau was special.
    Some were lost however, so there are only memories. There is no one now to keep secrets from, so it hurts only me to reminisce….your story is sad, a touch painful, but lovely still.

  11. Oh dear… what a story to tell. Those last three lines were haunting,

    I think you know about the photo,
    and there’s a box of letters
    you have kept that I will never read.

  12. This is plain reality! The sweetness of past that we hold onto, the bitterness for which it could not turn into the present!! I am an absolute fan of your words! The title is a perfect one!

  13. I understand the ‘treason’ part too, if we discard the memories, we discard pieces of our past and there is no continuity, at best we find a place where the good and bad can just be.. Nice work, needed to read that today.

  14. I not so sure that I could be so good-hearted. We all have a past, but there’s wisdom in moving on once a commitment is made. Nevertheless, your poem does make a person think and evaluate, and that’s a good thing.

  15. I have boxes of letters too that I think are as a part of me that is able to love without prejudice of another’s past affairs and yet be present in this one and appreciating our flaws and accepting with new emotions only we two now share. this is lovely because it is real.

  16. So beautifully written, and timely. Just last week, I came across a gold mesh clutch that had been given me by a long ago boyfriend….a brief interlude…and I’d kept it all these years. I gifted it to my son’s wife since my days of dancing the light fantastic are over. It was good to review the memory!

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