Verse

Porter, Pamela Rice

Pamela Rice Porter Ruth's Love Letters, 1918-1919 Before the mystery of the oak wardrobe I breathe the dark odor of centuries Kuth has sent me to find her gold kar brooch. Across the floor, the...

...Not the tiny explosions of her mother's wooden wheelchair across the kitchen floor, no sound at dawn to his sister's halted running over the plowed-black field: no time found her alone, as she wished, in the rows white with frost before the sun hanging red, low, between darkly ' budding trees...
...Across the floor, the bed's white spread, mottled light scatters then settles...
...On the porch we look toward the grass-grown tracks and I open my palm where it rests, having long beyond memory lain hidden...
...The gold pin reveals itself, fragile roundness of linked leaves...
...they will be everywhere they have been, earning their small streaks ' her yet-uncrooked hands made wiping the cuts that bolls opened daily The tree must contain also its bare roughness, spread of black against black over the house, when a crow rattled its wings through February cold like his suffered breathing her sleep...
...The letters have lain as long as her mother's laundry basket against the back door...
...The same round glasses that lie each night folded on her window sill sharpened some distant flash, perhaps the 3 a M. train his last letter in the mailbag, hardly heavier that air, waiting...
...If r turn slowly, without breathing I might glimpse Ruth's tattered dress her burr-laden socks limp over the chair, feel the patched cotton sack weighting down the porch They will be there...
...They began to form their presence here before his gray coat first hung from its nail «n the frame of the unfinished house whose ghost still creaks on that unseciicmed scrap of prairie not half a mile away...
...25 September 1987: 529...
...My hand in a shadowed corner brushes a small bundle: six letters tied with string, mildewed and brittle, two from France, four from Arizona...
...And silence...
...Still, it haunts the house, the ache that could not fill his next breath nor slow the sun from easing winter's burden of winter, aiding the violence of spring...

Vol. 114 • September 1987 • No. 16


 
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