POEM: A LADY WRITING A LETTER By VERMEER

 

All day I am walking to the square

in the sun. I don’t know what to say.

I’ve begun the letter but it lies

on a black tile in the sitting room.

It has been five years

since the child. There’s no reason

for delay. I sip tea, plead

with the bargain-marker, sass

the servant-girl, but no luck.

I take a pinch of chocolate, search

birds’ tracks at the corners

of my eyes. No one knocks.

So what keeps me here?

 

 

It has taken this long to write.

Now, even you expect no reply.

That is as it should be.

I write to tell you I am alive.

What else is there? All the devils

you see in the air mean nothing-

this you know, so I write to assure you

you are not mistaken, your skin

is where you are not, around me

tight as stays. If I picture your face,

there is nothing left but this:

my stomach flowers as it once did.

I have not forgotten yet.

 

 From Afterimages. Poems by Cathryn Hankla.

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One response to “POEM: A LADY WRITING A LETTER By VERMEER

  1. What a simply beautiful piece of writing…it has a very Victorian feel..as if it has been written in another time another epoch..I loved this amazing piece..ELiza Keating

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