Monday, February 24, 2014

Monday Poetry Stretch - Postcards and Letters

Since my mother entered a nursing home last fall I've been writing more cards and letters. Letter writing is a lost art. I wish I could say my short missives are interesting or important, but they're more like the grade-school version of the "how I spent my summer" paper.

I've been pondering writing, postcards and letters and think this might be a good topic for a poem. (My choice is serendipitous, as today's Poem-a-Day from the American Academy of poets is the poem Postcards by E. Ethelbert Miller .)

I hope you'll join me this week in writing about writing. Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments.


  1. Dear L.A.,

    I confess I didn’t miss you
    till I came to see you again.
    The people who walk your streets
    seem extraordinary, full
    of inexplicable dreams, wearing nose-rings
    or strangely shaped shoes
    because they like them,
    not to make a statement.
    Is your sky really bluer?
    Is Hollywood really a place?
    Do people really feel freer?

    I am happy here where I’ve moved,
    even without palm trees. And everyone
    everyplace goes to the grocery store,
    everyone talks on their cell phones.
    So why, ordinary as I am
    no matter where I am,
    do I miss you? Why do I feel
    different when I come to see you?

    yours truly, Kate

    —Kate Coombs, 2014
    all rights reserved

  2. Postcard—Return to Sender

    I’m not enjoying this
    travel holiday. The sharks
    swimming to starboard
    are having a better time
    snubbing the chum
    we toss from barrels
    into the roiling sea.
    (Is it me, or is the tariff
    on genetically engineered
    plesiosaurs prohibitive?)
    It thunders concussively
    here, and I’ve only eaten
    meals I canned myself.
    I am thinking of jumping
    the port rail. Send word,
    as soon as this reaches you,
    of how our cyborg au pair
    and the children are getting on.

    ©2014 Steven Withrow, all rights reserved

  3. Steven--Ha! Just don't step on a butterfly!

    Dear Gail,
    Hope this e-mail reaches you in good spirits.
    I found a postcard you sent me from summer
    camp back when were in 5th grade. It was frayed
    on the corners with both ee’s in Camp Hiawassee faded away.
    The card said, Hey Cece! Camp is nice, mosquitos are not.
    Food here is the same as our cafeteria; both contain
    mystery grub whose contents will never be solved.
    I’ve attempted archery; I missed the entire target every
    time, each arrow landed in some wooded area.
    Counselors still hi-fived me like I won the lottery.
    Reminds me of a certain theme park we visited once.
    Anyway, miss ya, see ya in August! Can’t wait to go
    shopping with you for new school clothes. xo Gail.
    It’s weird how innocent things were back then, before
    my parents’ divorce, before your mom passing away.
    Now you live across the country, although this
    Postcards’ helped me feel like you’re coming home
    soon, even though I know otherwise.
    Write back when you can. xo Cece.