Letters

It’s a shame no one sends letters
In these days of texts and email,
I miss the post-battered envelopes,
The anticipation as I see
The stamp and postmark –
Especially if airmail –
The feel of paper, perhaps
With some lingering scent,
Then unfold the letter, smooth its creases
And devour the words.

Long letters or short, I miss them all,
So personal, the work of writing,
Folding, sealing, addressing and posting,
You can’t touch a text,
Smell an email and imagine
The writer present.

I still have boxes of letters
From childhood and later, many
From people not here now, and
From time to time I unpack them,
Hold them gently and the
Once familiar writing, and
For a short time, re-enter that old world,
Hear those lost voices again.

A real thing, solid in my fingers.
Had there been emails then,
Would I still have Grandpa’s?
I doubt it, if I treated them
As I do emails today:
A quick read and click DELETE.
It’s not so easy to delete a letter:
That takes effort too,
To turn, crumple or burn,
More time to think.

Slow down then, reach for your pen,
A clean sheet of paper
And surprise someone:
Send them a letter!
Perhaps they may surprise you and reply.
I wonder if it will catch on….

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