5 I Never Told Anybody

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.

Sam Rainey

Gambling Luck

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

Leroy Burton

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.

Grange Hall

Greyhound Depot


Diner 2


Swimming Hole 1

Swimming Hole 2


Family Reunion

Wigwam Hotel

Beat Cops Guide

USO Dance


Milk Cow

Berry Picking

Berry 2



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.

Margaret Whittaker


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

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