Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sea shore letter at six

I wrote to her from the sea shore
that short weekend vacation
when I was six,
a bragging man of inch-high printed letters,
who licked the stamp certain
she would be impressed,
the sea and gulls still aching in me,
the indelible impression of youth
marked upon my soul,
crashing waves and salty air
and broken ship on the reef—
old fishing boat filled with souring fish corpses,
which reeked for weeks,
though to me,
there might have been pirates to battle
or women to save,
swords clashing in frantic glee
before the inevitable Davey Jones,
and for the long ride home,
I imagined her, receiving me like Errol Flynn,
her long five-year-old hair gleaming
like gold from the porch,
small hands grasping my letter on the stairs,
shaking with expectation—
though when I arrived,
there was no one home,
just my letter, stuffed in the mail box marked:
address unknown.

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