Letter To America

Entry by: cjjartist

21st October 2016
Letter to America

We used to sit in the saggy Beidermeir chair,
Opa and me, where I'd be soothed
by words I could not understand,
ideas beyond my six and 3/4 years
(very important, that fraction)
and Opa would nod, sagely,
in time with the mellifluous- soft music,
he knew things, so many things,
I wondered if his brain might explode one day
(it didn't, his body gave up but his brain never did)
and I wondered about this magical place,
somewhere far away, across the pond,
where people spoke so lazily, so confidently,
that their lips barely moved, an undulation
(another Sunday arrived, Alistair's sweet drawl)
so when I wrote letters on tissue-blue skins,
wishing I could be there, half curious,
why hadn't I gone when I had the chance
no green card, just kept, by a fellow student
how long could I have borne that?)
when I trawled the sea for bottles to send,
all I found was crushed glass smashed on the shoreline,
and when I found the open spaces,
the roads were lined with poverty
(was it all untrue, why did they lie?)
the mountains were higher,
and the turn in the road made me cry
for all that had passed before,
the tree witnesses to a total history
(but we're too young to have history, they giggle)
the desert dried my skin, my eyes
sore from the constant wind of empty
seconds, turned tussocked-prickled
years of silence, a vacuum
(so far from life it might well be a separate planet)
the bright lights of the strip,
the false cities of Paris and Venice,
cheap and plastic- tawdry with
diamond dust an inch thick
(was I really meant to fall for that?)

and I wondered whether Alistair
ever received my letter,
whether the idea was in the sending,
or did O-Pappa write instead of me?