Every one has secrets. I have them. You have them.
I once walked by an itinerant man who shouted:
Thou shall not pass by me without throwing
a nickel in my cap, or I will reveal your secret.
Although momentarily taken aback, I refused
such an arrogant approach and kept on walking.
Shame to you, he yelled, Does your mother know,
and what will Rita think of you if she finds out?
Stunned, I turned and told him a lie, "I know no
Rita, and my mother is long dead. What do you
say to that?" Put a nickel in my cap and I'll tell you,
he said. "You are an old fool," I replied, "but perhaps
what you say is true and I put a nickel in your cap.
Would you tell me how you know?" Oh no, he said,
that is my secret.

J. D. Heskin

If you have any comments on this poem, J. D. Heskin would be pleased to hear from you.