Letter to a friend

For Amy, an ocean away.

Across the Atlantic
We sit
Each in our own room
Typing frenetically
Updating one another
On news
Life events
Woes as experienced from the bathroom floor
Wonders which include enchanted encounters
We condense stories
Better told leisurely
Over coffee or tea
In each other’s actual
Physical company
Wherein a raised eyebrow
Or pause
Tells its own story.

In lieu.
We abbreviate
We abridge
We g-chat.

It is, perhaps,
For just this circumstance
That letter writing was meant.
So that we could tell stories fully,
Extravagantly fill pages with prose,
So as not to miss a detail,
In order to describe most vividly
Our lives at that particular moment.
Believing this action
Might somehow lessen
The inexorable ache of missing one so dear.

To hold your letter in hand,
Revel in the familiar swoop of your script.
(Do we know anyone’s handwriting anymore?)
To reread one’s favorite passages over toast,
To open and smooth out folded pages,
And hear your voice in my mind.
To imagine you in the scene you’ve described
So perfectly, with such intricacy
That Virginia Woolf now reads somehow vague.
To accept this painted scene meant for me alone
This is the gift of friendship.

I fear a future of
The Lost Emails of [Insert Author’s Name]
Or even
The Collected G-Chats.

Forget not the motion of your own hand
Across a page.
Forget not the letters you keep in boxes
Like secrets,
Like a child’s collected treasures:
Half a robin’s egg, a piece of beach glass, a bent penny
Hidden, sacred.

Say you’ll return to paper and pen.
Let flow the words you would say
Were it not for an ocean.
Transcribe the conversation
Of head and heart, magic and memory
And sign it
Not “With love,” or “Missing you,”
But “Always.”

6 responses to “Letter to a friend”

  1. What a delightful verse…so much has been lost since letters have become ‘at-risk-of-extinction’…those old love letters are not the same as emails or posts on a website….love this poem of yours!…I would write a letter but alas…I know not your address! 🙂

    1. Thanks so much! Today was a pen and paper day.

  2. I love this. I’m having the same feelings about my friend Alice Guess right now. She moved to Baton Rouge in July. 😦

    1. Thanks, Andra. I know how much you must miss Alice. Even when our friends are doing awesome things while they’re far away, they are still…far…away!

  3. chill bumps, thanks for the read

    1. Thanks for reading, JK!

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