I never told anybody I used to be knock-kneed
I was knock-kneed until I was twenty years old
I never told anybody about the time I wrecked my uncle’s car
I took it and wrecked it and never told anybody
I never told anybody about my seventh-grade teacher
I loved her and I dreamed about her every night
I never told anybody about a girl at home
We ran away toNorth Carolinaand stayed there for three weeks
They wanted me to marry her and I wouldn’t
I never told my wife how much money I made
But now I can tell it.
I’d just gotten married in 1930
And I had a job and worked all week
Got paid Saturday night
And I stopped off at the clubroom
And I lost my whole week’s salary
I wasn’t making but eighteen dollars a week, doing pressing.
No food, no rent paid
And so my mother-in-law gave me a nickel to get me a packet of smoking tobacco
And I walked down on the corner with a friend of mine
And I started playing coon can for a nickel
And I won forty cents
I left and went on the railroad men’s section
So I got into a skin gamee
And I won seventy dollars with that forty cents
And I went home and bought food
Paid the rent
Took my wife out to the movies
And my old mother-in-law and wife all wanted to know
where I got the money
And I never told anyone
But everybody was happy
Write a poem which is entirely about things you never told anybody. A good idea is to start every line, or every other line with the words “I never told anybody” and each time put in a different thing you never told.
If you want to, you can put in something like a refrain — a repeated thing you say maybe two or three times like “But I’m telling it now” or “But, now I’m saying it.”
The things you’ve never told don’t have to be important. They can just be silly things you never said. I never told anyone I thought I could go inside the radio and sing with the people inside. Or, I never told anybody I used to talk to my cocker spaniel, Blackie about troubles I had with girls.
To help the group pass out a pile of pictures to look at. Sometimes, images will help prompt a memory. Sometimes an image will help prompt something that is entirely off subject but that’s ok. Let them know they can write about whatever comes to them based on the images.
You can click on these and print them out.
I’ve never told anyone this but
My father used to take me to a dance
For the Knights ofColumbus
And I wanted people to ask me to dance
But when they did, I’d say no
Because I’d be afraid, or shy
I was shy then
I was afraid people would laugh at me
I’ve never told anyone this.
I once had a secret love but I never told anybody
I once ran away but I never told anybody
Once when I was walking down the street
I saw a man running with a gun in his hand
But I never told anybody
Once I found a pocketbook, I was a little girl,
and I never told anybody
I planted a rosebush at the corner of my house
Every month it had a different-colored rose – a white one
a pink one, a red one –
And I never told anybody
Mary L. Jackson