How lonely must you have been, first owner
of this second-hand detective, a “Maigret”,
written in French by Georges Simenon,
the pages almost brown of age,
not turned nor touched for forty years or on.

You left some items in the book, as marks:
a serrated photo, black and white,
shows a young man smoking a pipe in rain,
on the flip side it just says: “c’est moi”,
and a note, hastily written, with a stain.

It is not much to reconstruct your past,
the handwriting is girlish, round and broad,
she must have led you on, but when and how,
who knows. You never sent the photo, right?
The note just said: “I can not make it now.”


Comments on: "Detective" (17)

  1. Widow Beach said:

    Oooh, intriguing–love it!

  2. How appropriately detective-ish!

  3. Beautifully done – and gets better with every read. N.

  4. I altered it a bit, there were some errors in it 🙂

  5. Oh tis is fab! A favourite without doubt! I remember watching Maigret on TV with mum and dad at home!! 😊 L&H xx

    • Hi Christine, thank you 🙂 In the eighties I have read all his adventures I think 🙂 L&H xx

  6. It does make you think about a books previous owner and its history

    • Yes, all the stories you can find in them 🙂 I once found a letter from a translater of Shelley’s poetical works, in a very old book. Great 🙂

  7. A wonderful poem, Ina. Evocative, filled with both the nostalgia presented by a used book with a photo, and the mystery and speculation arising from the book, the mystery, and “a note, hastily written, with a stain.” The details, as details are wont to do, make the poem, of course. You have used enough of them, about the book and what is found in the book, to make a story and a mood that really works well.

    • Thank you very much Thomas. Second hand bookstores have the atmosphere of all the histories in which the books were read, it is as if they are floating about.

  8. How many times I’ve bought a second book and found an inscription or notes – pieces of someone’s life we can only conjecture over. But as writers, what is better. This poem superbly captures the experience and its lingerings … XO ♥

    • Thank you Diane, yes the stuff others leave behind in books, it is always good for the imagination! ♥

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