Secret Songs

That she loves you with a full heart,

There is no doubt.

That she will never leave –

And instead will always stay –

There is no breath of doubt.

And that you know her well –

Like the ripe veins on the backs of your hands,

And the frayed spine of your favourite book:

Like the way she smiled the day you re-met her,

After years of heartbreak and unsettlement –

No one will ever doubt again.


But even though you hold her,

And even though you know her impatience

And how to make her laugh with her belly:

The way she sounds when she sleeps,

And the bad mood when she’s hungry or hiking:

Living for summer,

Always putting everyone else first:

Even now, after twenty great-sore years,

There are songs she sings,

In the back of her mind, before she falls asleep,

Secret, so you can’t hear.


They sound like the melodies you play, too,

In the quiet moments

When you feel you are alone –

When the scenes of lifetimes past

Grip you, singing strangely,

And you remember there were worlds

She never even touched.

So though you love her,

With both your arms open,

And no one doubts how well she knows you,

Still live on the whispers –

The memories –

Of the people you once were

In the secret songs you sing.



by Ingrid Bahnemann

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