Monday, August 20, 2012

Letters in blue

Ours is a story of letters,
of transcontinental surprises
penned on blue-tinged paper
and delivered via air mail
to hands
too far to squeeze.
My dear Jess,
Dear Nanny,
Sometimes no more than a few lines,
a picture, a clipping.
Yet enough to hit its mark:
I've been thinking of you.
Sometimes the envelopes 
would scream, 
glue straining,
the pages dancing with 
laboriously detailed moments 
squeezed from whole chapters of life 
into ink on paper
to stand in gentle defiance
of those twin devils:
distance and time.
We would S.W.A.K.[1]
and XOXO
and always sign,
not goodbye,
but T.T.F.N.[2]
Goodbye was not right,
too final.
Ours was a signing off
wrapped in a promise
of another meeting,
another letter,
another time.
But time, 
that great meaning-maker,
stops for no one
and you have gone now
to where letters cannot reach.
Yet words do not just disappear.
They can be read and recollected,
contemplated and cherished 
long after paper yellows
and ashes scatter.
Life too,
captured on pages,
in freeze-frames,
imprints on the mind,
is never lost.
It can be remembered,
resurrected in sealed kisses,
shared stories,
and resolute promises 
to believe
that time and distance
can be defied.
And so
as I squeeze words
from lives lived,
I say
not goodbye
but T.T.F.N.

[1] Sealed With A Kiss
[2] Ta-Ta For Now


Kathryn e said...

Simply beautiful. I, too, lost a grandparent who wrote me letters. Reading your poem just inspired me to pull out the old cigar box where I keep his notes ... thank-you for sharing!

andrea b said...

Such a beautiful post. Hand-written letters do something that emails and texts will never do...they capture a person's spirit.