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Letter to Those Away


In your side yard this spring, the flowering white dogwood tree is more beautiful than you may have

ever desired. The neighbors' floating pink and white

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petals, cherry and crabapple, again make this street

heaven we have done little enough to deserve.

Your house sits still and stolid, the grass is

cut, the lights come on at night. Nothing betrays

nothing alive inside, no cupboards opened, no

drawers slammed shut, no cups need washing,

no one has eaten, nothing ever needs

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picking up. Only dust rains in,

each daylight fades the framed silver

oxide paper of family pictures, damp

invades, sills flake.

Though I do not know you or where to write,

I urge you: come from wherever you are.

It has been long. It is late. This house is

losing your memory. Whatever alluring mild

morning sea, incredible vista, be warned,

illusion is there. To be here is a fight, takes

friends. Some, with all their strength, their

weeding, weekend gathering, repair and

addition, are finding these houses and

yards still stumble, get mixed, tell

different stories of children growing,

answer to other families' names.

Come home now if you can.

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