Old Letters

Robert James Berry




I have some old letters
In the fading handwriting of my dead.

In fact I have your large elastic-banded history
Here in this shoebox,
In your spindly script.
It is a history more endearing
Than your earth-caked bones.

Convictions you pulled at
in the grainy paper
Have swollen to big symbols.
That is the subterfuge of ink,
and death.
The salt dark words
Are a codicil bequeathing life.

As the bedraggled sun
Slices at your headstone,
and below it the interred ghoul
crumples to dust

I am reading.

When winter turns the terracotta earth to mud,
And your grave rills with shrieking water

Still I shall be reading.


E-mail Robert


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