Posts Tagged ‘postcards’

Dear Emily,

Today on my walk I saw poppies, unbloomed, lining the sidewalk. It is my favorite place, a square designated by a log fence and sometimes populated by small, ceramic gnomes. Just now, the world is ariot with blooms and buds. The poppy heads are baby green and fuzzy. The look like alien mouths about to pop open. But then do, and they transform, first intoxicating with their blaze of red and orange. Then, you may boil them to make a tea, or others find a way to take the drug directly into their blood. Do you understand? I don’t. The woman who owns this land once offered me some poppy seeds, seeing how I loved them. I can stand and adore them for hours. I took the seeds but never planted them.

Sometimes you come upon a scene and it steals your breath and that, that should be enough.

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Poem #6

Cromwell News

This postcard comes to you from Cromwell Road, where I spent the better part of an hour, aimlessly turning the racks which displayed photographs of Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Big Ben, Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Kensington Palace, Prince Albert Hall, Victoria and Albert Museum, The National Portrait Gallery. I coveted the over-priced water, fingered the coins in my pocket. I hovered to overhear the clerk’s conversation, I wanted to ask, are you always kind or only to me? I wanted him to choose me from among the tourists as the most sympathetic if not the most beautiful. Once, as I waited for the bus, he saw me outside and raised his eyebrows in greeting. Forgive me, for I fell in love with him, over and over again. He smiled. He asked, How are you? He had an accent. I want him to forgive me my sins of coveting and envy. I envied his gaiety, his supposed approach to life that allowed him to enjoy this convenience store of cheap, breakable lives. I asked him, why do you smile? And he told me, I want to go back, but for now, the war is out there, not in here. We have to make our way as we can. He included me in his language, the we that the English constructed to exclude him, the royal we, but that, as we stood there, included the continent between us, spanned only by his breath.

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The British Library

Sylvia Plath, you could not know how the black ink would pierce my heart, for I am a mother too or surely you would not have written such things. Now I understand the weight of motherhood and London and such longing as not even words can convey. You are here, nestled among Shakespeare’s manuscripts, the Guttenberg Bible, codices of Eastern theology and the Magna Carta. But you already knew there was nothing to believe in, not words or Gods, and certainly not men. Sylvia, I picture you kneeling on the floor, your hair unkempt, your kitchen messy. And what I feel for you is not the sympathy of a sister, but the anger of a daughter. Oh, do it already. Put us out of our misery. But even that does not bring the rain to an end, and when we emerge with our parcels, the gray surrounds us as it must, even now, cover you.

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