For the Writers Island prompt, "the letter," a poem about memories invoked by a love letter. I wrote this poem quickly; it still needs work. But I've been too busy to participate in Island prompts the past two or three weeks and didn't want to miss another. To appease my perfectionist tendencies, let's call this a first draft:
The letter was written
in your trademark green ink,
a fine distinctive script
on heavy cream vellum.
You pressed it into my hands
that morning at the airport,
urging me not to read it
until I was on the plane.
Your words spoke of undying love
and made promises that would go unfulfilled,
even with the best intentions,
because timing is everything.
longing for the mail:
envelopes stuffed with pages of prose,
revealing how much you missed me.
until we met again
in some foreign capital
for a honeymoon of sorts.
You phoned from Madrid
and talked about London;
then there was New York, Miami,
and glittering foreign capitals.
The shopping trips
where you offered anything I wanted,
in a bid to compensate for long absences
and preserve the status quo.
Remember the expensive designer suit
I returned to Saks Fifth Avenue
to buy a plane ticket
and surprise you in Miami?
The embroidered, bejeweled dress
you chose at the Kuwait souk?
It was your favourite colour;
you never noticed it didn't suit me.
Simply a matter of time,
we lied to ourselves,
until the many reunions ended
and I'd become your wife.
But the longer the space
the less appealing that
You chose the marble floors
of that beautiful villa, without consulting me.
The house was nearly finished, when I saw
what might have become my golden cage.
All these years later,
that grand family villa
remains unloved and empty.
A caretaker lives in a nearby shack
to guard against more broken dreams
and preserve the architectural showpiece
haunted by ghostly illusions
of living happily ever after.