This is the title poem from the book. To read more excerpt poems, click on the cover below and you will be taken to a digital book. Enjoy. To order ($11.95) go to http://poet-ray-brown.com/ or order on Amazon http://tinyurl.com/RayBrownAmazon
When I was young
they were kept in a shoebox.
Then, in late middle age,
in an old leather correspondence case,
found at a flea market,
kept in the bottom desk drawer.
Handwritten in flowing cursive script
by original Lewis Waterman pen
point dipped in a well
the fountain of personal essence
the blue flowed with emotion
like the waters of life.
Soul captured not by Lucifer
but by the fiber of the paper
crafted in Egypt along the Nile
history nested so deeply between the reeds
between the threads of papyrus.
The envelope, self-sealed in a meticulous way
with wax, monogrammed
engraved so beautifully on the back.
The Steamboat Savannah stamp
hand canceled – May 24, 1944
a distinctive ink which marked its journey
as would a traveler his journal
from South Carolina to Baptistown, NJ.
I treasure this letter, and its envelope.
When I pick it up and read
I feel him rising
through the warmth of the words,
grasping my hand…
this post saved in the attic of my memories.
While I have other poets today
their presence I see just fleetingly
on the computer screen,
my palm touch against the monitor
only makes work for me
Though a friend taught me about the “Save” button
I feel as if I have saved nothing, and lost much
each time I push/click -
their correspondence lost -
in impersonal set aside.
Why time took this treasured means of human discourse
there is no answer.
Does it have no sense of history -
Upon my death, for what
will they use my leather satchel?
Thankfully — I have his letters still.