I keep a secret hidden deep

In the back of my bedroom closet.

Packed loosely and gently

Sits a dusty old piece of luggage

Full of dreams and destinations

Now forbidden but not forgotten.

In a plastic Zip-loc baggie

There’s a 10 and a crumpled 20,

A toothbrush and tube of toothpaste,

A wash cloth and a soap box that’s empty,

Phone numbers and addresses

Of long distant, long-lost friends.

And a favorite pair of jeans

Too small and tattered at the ends,

Two pairs of sox bought for a nickel

From a box on a stranger’s lawn,

Four hair elastics in a safety pin

A clip and a comb,

Three tank tops, two pairs of boxers,

And a sweatshirt named for home.

There’s an old pack of Camels

Because drifters always smoke,

A journal, a box of pens

And a copy of “On the Road”,

A photo album of memories for when

The day gets long and lonely

And a bottle of cheap old bourbon

For when the nights get melancholy.

Always trying to appear at my best

Seeking and never speaking

I can’t even allow myself to know the Truth of any of it.

And several little keepsakes that

I never should have kept.

I keep secrets packed deep in a duffle bag

Deep in my bedroom closet

Behind skeletons and memory maps

That outline where I’m going.



–Some lines borrowed from Tricia Henley


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