Opening the pastel pink envelope, a color generally reserved for
bridesmaids’ gowns and baby showers,
I imagine your hands
freckled and bruised from a near century of living with
men and cigarettes, babies and canasta cards.
What do you notice on the card first? The soft colors of purple, yellow, and blue.
The baby birds, eating cherries, sitting in a Parisian cafe, one maybe you can recognize, but not from personal experience.
Even if you cannot read the small type that says
“I’m so glad to have a friend like you”,
you will perhaps notice the comically large way I wrote:
“You have been my best friend for a long time.”
But by the time you read the inside, by the time you make your way through the words to my signature, will you have to begin again? Will you have to ask what you are holding in your hands, or worse, who the person is at the bottom of the page?
Or will you decide that today is not the day
for opening mail from strangers and grandchildren
that today is a day to speak to the people who only knew you as the dress seller in Brooklyn
the woman who, dressed in white gloves,
pushed men off of her
and laughed loud at the idea of waiting.