Autumn Sky Poetry . . . Number 18 . . .

The Letter

     by Lew Watts

The tangled loops at times seemed so bereft,

Not like the angled echelons I’d seen

On my birth certificate. I wish I’d kept

It with me when I left you to your screams.

She used an airmail envelope. She used

Four blue sheets as thin as Dad’s old veins,

With wide-spaced lines to guide her words. I knew

She rarely wrote, preferring talk — even

Then she only phoned me once. I was surprised

She found my proud new number in her purse;

I’d left it where no conscientious nurse

Could store it with the ring that she despised.

I read the letter once, but I recall

Each time the fallen letters stood up straight,

As though her hand had told her body to wait

While she wrote please in lonely verticals. 

I write to you again to ask you please

To search within our books and jazz CDs,

Or maybe in the school reports or where

We stored our early days — it must be there.


Lew Watts is originally from Wales and moved recently to the US, where he is an energy consultant in Washington, DC. His poetry has been published previously in Europe, while his first US work appears this year in 14 by 14, Chanterelle's Notebook, Decanto, Modern Haiku, New Mexico Poetry Review, The Raintown Review, Ribbons, Shaking like a Mountain, and Umbrella.


© 2010 Lew Watts