Comment on this article

The Letters, A Poetic Correspondence
by Chris Ingham and Janet Leister

Number three: Regret.

My Dearest Felicity, you cannot
Imagine my feelings when I received
Your letter, however, short, this morning.
I do not know whether to be cast down
Or encouraged by your brief reply.
I take heart, however, in your desire
For me to write again, even if your
Wish for us not to see one another
Casts me down somewhat despondently.

Your remembrance, my dear, of our friendship
In long forgotten summer childhood days,
Shared brightly, intensely, but so briefly,
Like a star falling across western skies,
Tempers my disappointment and regret
That you must leave for England very soon,
So, even if my desperate need for you
Should find a way of softening your heart
We cannot meet until you shall return.
Still, you said that we should write at any rate.

I sit now on my porch, alone, looking
At faded sepia Brownie Box pictures
Taken inexpertly by your mother.
You and me hand in hand upon a beach,
And simple, fragmented memories curl
Like smoke from my forbidden cigarette.

Enough of this sentimentalising,
My dear, for I must recognise indeed
That the past will always be a foreign
Country where we did things differently.

Thank you for the short poem you sent to me.
Clever images of whispering silk,
Liquid satin, draw me inside the page,
Tightly into your silken web of words.

I must close now and hope that you will write
From England. With much love always, Bobby.
Number four: Ashen

Ah, you remembered the beach,
the shifting sand, and shapes
piling up in dunes of time.
How long ago it was, and
how many women I imagine
there have been for you since.

Was it love -- or merely
our curiosity that fell across the sky?
Our bodies lithe, involuntary, visceral
as we gulped our first taste of passion.
So many feelings, at once
entreating and forbidden.

But now we have aged; jaded, we play our roles:
you, suave and cool, I aloof, youth elusive
as the gray tendrils from your cigarette,
desire ashen from misbegotten romance,
heavier than my blue velvet gown.

Are you grasping for me
or the faded sepia longing
of a time of innocence,
an act of deception
as we face our mortality?







The Letters, Volume 3

[New] [Archives] [Join] [Contact Us] [Poetry in Motion] [Store] [Staff] [Guidelines]