Up at my Grandma’s for the holiday break, she asked about my studies, other things, said she wondered what it was I had been busy scrawling away at. “Oh just a letter…to a friend.”
“Is that your girl…you still seeing that girl…the one from high school?”
I was surprised she remembered. I guess it was all pretty transparent.
She got up and told me to go on with what I was doing, she’d be right back. She returned holding a little wood box. She opened the clasp and leafed through some buttons, and things and pulled out an old yellowed letter folded up in a square. It looked like a dried red flower was attached with a clip. Uncreased, she read it out loud:
“Oh sweet Elipha I think of you dear
I yearn for your face in the light
An end to the darkness spreading the land
Your laughter with mirth and delight.”
“I fancy that you might fancy me….”
A catch came into her voice, a tear at the corner of her eye. The silence felt strange, so I said I had no idea Grandpa was such a romantic old fool. “A poet no less!”
“Oh, no, goodness no, this was just a boy that loved me once.” She folded it back into a square and delicately clipped the flower back on top. It was a poppy I found out later, a red one, she had picked years ago in a field when she was young.