artwork: ralph murre
by Ronald Baatz
He mentioned seeing his
former lover on the street.
He said that she had appeared ruined
by time, by life's wretchedness.
He said that he had been shocked
when he looked into her eyes.
Other than this he didn't mention anyone else
in the letter, which was strange.
He was not the kind of person
who avoided heartfelt gossip.
I put the letter down on the table, but
when a breeze started playing with it
I stuck it in my shirt pocket.
It was the kind of beautiful day when
I wanted to write back immediately,
while my thoughts were still fresh.
A couple of pens and paper
were on the table.
I could smell the scented geranium
in my window.
I started my letter by saying
something about his old lover
apparently still leading the wild life,
then continued on to other matters,
my pen skating along in
a conversational tone.
I told him that there were small birds
making a fuss in the maple.
That there was a cat
sitting in the tall grass,
watching clouds turn into
flocks of doves.
That it was a Tuesday
and for me it was a
~ first published in Yellow Silk