We used to receive, in West Germany, handwritten letters from friends in Soviet Russia.
Mail was read by censors so we established a code;
If written in blue ink,
Letters would arrive,
All written in blue;
Everything wonderful, stores full of food,
Apartments large, weather is good.
We just cannot buy,
So then I was moved by,
The shoddy silhouette,
Cut into concrete,
Of three bedraggled figures;
One woman, one man,
And a frail old lady.
Cradling a baby swaddled in yellow rags,
Called the man, ‘…Husband.’
The man was the old lady’s Son,
And was weeping bitterly on his mother’s shoulders but,
The schooner had not failed this time,
And she was finally here,
On the dock,
Cold and withered and whispering to her son,
Grandma will be happy to learn the new ways,
Of feeding her children, soup!
evocative short poetry