Letter to Melissa
by Wilda Morris

Remember, Missy, that summer we spent
by the sea when we were seventeen? The medieval
buildings—museums, stores and homes—
painted in gold, burnt sienna, pink and green.

The waves we romped in swept away time
as we suntanned, picnicked, tossed a Frisbee
on the beach until the wind blew the disk out of reach.
We splashed in breakers, searched for shells, and swam.

Missy dearest, the sea has come to claim that stretch
of coast. Buildings along the shore might as well
be the sand castles we so carefully constructed,
then abandoned to the rising surf, the tides,

directed by the moon that rose as we sat
on a bench, watched descending sun paint water pink.
They look like ghosts now, with hollow eyes.
Another kind of night is falling as the glaciers melt

and oceans rise. What we once loved will soon
be just a memory, and all the friendly folk there
who smiled at our attempts to speak their language
will have no words to speak the sorrow that they feel.


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