Throw them out? What a waste of hours and thoughts and
emotion. In some cases, the poems are the best mementos. (You probably gave
back the jewelry.) Then all you’ve got are the snapshots, embarrassing, and the
occasional virus, likewise.
Send them out? Perhaps. Then if they get dismissed, it’s not as painful as rejection of recent poems about your current truelove. In fact, old boyfriend poems could serve the purpose of getting you used to those chintzy polite slips, barely an eighth of a page, that say thanks but your poems aren’t worth so much as a quarter sheet of rejection.
But then what if they get published (that’s good) but what if he reads them (that’s bad) and then thinks you still care (which you don’t)? The proper response? “Thank you for inspiring it, now go away.”
They seemed like such good ideas at the time.