The Darling Letters
Some keep them in shoeboxes away from the light,
sore memories blinking out as the lid lifts,
their own recklessness written all over them. My own...
Private jokes, no longer comprehended, pull their punchlines,
fall flat in the gaps between the endearments. What
are you wearing?
Don't ever change.
They start with Darling; end in recriminations,
absence, sense of loss. Even now, the fist's bud flowers
into trembling, the fingers trace each line and see
the future then. Always... Nobody burns them,
the Darling letters, stiff in their cardboard coffins.
Babykins... We all had strange names
which make us blush, as though we'd murdered
someone under an alias, long ago. I'll die
without you. Die. Once in a while, alone,
we take them out to read again, the heart thudding
like a spade on buried bones.
CAROL ANN DUFFY
Some people burn these letters, I think. But maybe not Curly. Read her story "re: the muppets".