I wrote this poem almost five years ago, just before I went to France for the first time.

It’s entirely too moving now because I “know” what they were hiding…

“Le Secret”

He asked me why
I wanted to see Paris.
For beauty, I said
Fingering the laminated
Restaurant menu.
For beauty, I repeated.
Oh, my friends
Have oft declared that
I would meet someone
A sensuous Parisian
But that’s too dangerous
I explained, too risky
All alone in Paris.
And then his wife
Gently clasped his hand,
Her eyes searching
The cheap cotton tablecloth
Clinging to the scarred wood.
She rocked his hand
Back and forth
Against the surface
Drawing her lips inward
Swallowing a smile.
I thought she might
Let out the surprise
And say
That was how they met
Or something
But she said nothing.
And the secret never came
Not even with dessert.
And when we left
I knew,
I must go to Paris for beauty…
For beauty, and to understand
What was never said
And never asked
Again.