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Memories chase me down the slippery verdant path,
through the gate with its rusty spring.
I nod to the passion fruit vine
still visiting the neighbours,
leaving crop as payment for their space.
A climbing rose has embraced the Judas tree.
The roofline steeples its hands in prayer
giving thanks for the harvest,
and begging for rain.
The laced veranda and weather-board bodice
hug the red front door.
It swings to my touch.
A waft of lavender and mothballs greets me,
a cobweb strand brushes my cheek.
In my old room, sunlight prisms through bevelled glass
scattering rainbows on the wall.
Dead flies decorate the windowsill
and the smell of mown grass creeps in through a window crack.
I open the cupboard door,
deaf to the screech of its hinges.
My fingers seek the noggin in the dark
finding the soft leather cover still there.
Small pages stuck with damp,
speckled with mould,
encase the scribbled voice of a child.
Reclaimed, held close,
The words echo against the beat of my heart.
Albert and Julia Featherstone-Cox
have a beautiful elegant blue letter box
with wide hanging eaves to keep out the rain
it sits on a cleverly curved welded chain
The Smiths down the road because of their debtors
have set up a cream can to hold all their letters.
Placed on its side with a slot in the lid
through the slot all their letters are carefully slid
At the end of the lane where the Postie won’t go
stand six mismatched mail boxes – all in a row,
odd colours, odd heights, lichen-dressed and rust stained
they appear like a queue of one legged cranes
My mailbox is small, I don’t get much mail
and what I do get is consumed by the snails,
I get emails and texts and junk mail – a few
but what I crave most is a letter from you
One I can read, full of love and your pain,
one I can read and then read again
to put in my pocket, to fondle and muse
on our time spent together on that great ocean cruise
when passion ignited two elderly hearts
an autumn of love – and now we’re apart…