Letters Left Behind

Note: Every so often my thoughts are best expressed in a prose-poem – I call it that because I don’t know what else to call it. As I continue going through Aunt Clair’s stuff, this is what came to me.

Aunt Clair saved letters

Who do they belong to now that

She has passed to another dimension?

The sender? The recycling bin?

Me – her devoted niece and self-appointed family historian?

Are they private?

Can I use them in my writing?

She saved them

To what end?

Buried in a stuck drawer

Wrapped in rubber bands

Encased in baggies.

Liberated, gently unfolded

Expressions of love

From her mother who died 46 years ago,

Endearments scrawled with an unsteady hand

From her father, also long dead.

Sister, nieces and nephews

offering thanks for a thoughtful gift

updating her from college or from across the world

making amends for a misunderstanding.

Love committed to paper

Yellowing, disintegrating with my touch

Voices from long ago

Briefly heard again.

3 thoughts on “Letters Left Behind

  1. Thanks- She’s always on target- if you throw something away, maybe even giving it away, it feels like you are either erasing part of a person, desecrating their memory or thinking that if they were there they would be angry? Happy you are mending.

    Sent from my iPad



  2. There is love on the pages of those letters. There is love in your tender words. There is more than that. There is loss and pain and reflection. But there is also faithfulness to her. That is true in all of your remembrances of aunt Clair. What more could any relative, aunt or otherwise, ask for?


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