The letters we move in losing
carefully stowed out of harm's way
Yet, with email, when everything is so easily deleted, or conversely, stored, does it still hold true that we keep those types of letters that show a part of our diamond soul as reflected in the eyes of another? Email can have a plethora of sentiment, or a dearth of the same. How easy it is to send love. How easy it is to send hate. And how easy it is to delete the words of love, while caught up in the emotion of hate. Even though we know it will hurt us and the relationship later. Even though we know that the failure to preserve and respect the love will destroy it, and only strengthen the hate. And then there is nothing left to confirm the knowledge you have that something was once there, or to reveal to you, when you are in a more rational space, that nothing ever was.
This is from Carol Ann Duffy, published in 1990 - a time when letters were still a physical thing. Paper can always be burned, though, not that it seems to be an option for this narrator. I particularly like the eighth and ninth lines, or shall I say, they ring true.
Now, it is impossible for me to get blogger to align the poem the way it should be, so the sixth line, Don't ever change, should be to the far right.
The 'Darling' Letters (1990)
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
– I would go out tonight
11 months ago