Mom, your thick envelope came on Friday
no birthday, no occasion—a surprise.

A note about your downsizing and cataloging—
preparations for death wrapped around
a packet of letters you’d written
on thin blue air mail paper
at age twenty-seven when, longing for children,
you went to France for eighteen months
hoping to find a father for us there.

Mom, I savoured the letters all weekend,
letting you, my mother not yet a mother,
speak to me.

How much we were alike then.
How much I have taken for granted
because I never heard your voice—
the one you had before marriage, children, and
all the things you wanted squeezed its passageway
into a thin, repetitive strain.

Mom, I’ll call you tonight.
I will say
I wish I’d seen these when I was twenty-seven
wish I’d known you asked all the same questions of life.

Your words will tumble out,
another surprise.

4 thoughts on “Letters

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  1. That one really touched a chord with me. With the grandmothers in my upcoming event, I tried to show that they were women before they were mothers and grandmothers–one worked as a “bomb girl” at age 19, one studied accounting the first year UBC had a faculty of commerce (in the year I was born, 1956), another was 15 and fleeing with your family from Latvia during WWII, one went to a residential school that was a “model farm” and had to work before breakfast, before school, and also in the late afternoon and evening after classes. Everybody has a story, but it takes real skill (as you have) to tell it wonderfully. Despite that, I attach one of mine.

    Jamie & Reg Kucey instagram.com/antlerwoodart facebook.com/antlerwoodart INAKA CUSTOM FURNITURE AND ART Box 248 Rossburn, Manitoba R0J 1V0 inakacanada@gmail.com 431-303-4504

    On Wed, Sep 30, 2020 at 9:04 AM Progressive Tense wrote:

    > mariafordwriter posted: ” Mom, your thick envelope came on Fridayno > birthday, no occasion—a surprise. A note about your downsizing and > cataloging—preparations for death wrapped arounda packet of letters you’d > writtenon thin blue air mail paperat age twenty-seven when, longing ” >

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely. Lovingly longingly lovely – found today when I take a break from sorting photographs of Christmas pasts compiling an albumn to pass to my children because photos are so much easier to say what is so difficult, and long except for poets, to put in words.

    Liked by 1 person

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