She always knew the little dark-haired,
brown-eyed child was her mother’s secret.
She’d kept the outings in a stranger’s car,
ice creams at the airport and seaside trips
close to her chest, being only five or six,
and loving mystery. When the baby arrived,
nobody said a word. There were whispers
behind closed doors. The outings stopped.
The shouting started. She was often sent to bed.
Later, when her sister told her, it was not news.
The shared secret crumbled her childhood,
the beginning of the end of sisterhood.
Kim M. Russell, 21st January 2020
This week our host for Poetics is Merril, who thinks of winter as being ‘secretive, with seeds and bulbs hidden underground, to somehow, almost magically, emerge once spring comes’, which is a thought I relate to, sitting in my study, watching nature through the window.
Merril also tells us about a book she read about secretaries who became spies in the Cold War. Last year I watched a great BBC series called ‘Mrs Wilson’, a true story, produced by and starring Ruth Wilson, in which she plays her real-life grandmother, a widow who uncovers a mysterious and secret life during that time following the death of her husband.
Today we are writing poems about secrets, or those who are often told secrets, such as spies, psychologists, priests–or friends. We can also respond to one of the Interesting Literature poems to which Merril has shared a link, or we can be tricky and hide secrets within our poems.