Poetry
Comments 20

Dear Ba

1st March 2018

Crewe

Dear Ba,

Do you remember how you started your letters?

I found three from when I was at uni today,

tucked away in a drawer the envelopes broken open beside them.

 

They all start differently

but none are dated so I can’t be sure when exactly you wrote them.

One is marked as Sunday and another with Market Drayton

as if I might have forgotten where you were

in the time between visits.

 

They mostly read the same.

You haven’t done much and are short of news to tell.

Sat around in your living room enjoying coffee and choc rolls,

telling me of the weather

and who hasn’t been to visit recently

only for Granny’s post-script notes to correct you afterwards.

 

In Sunday you change tact,

letting slip moments of history like castaway comments

in the way you always did during conversations.

You say ‘I’m an not a very good letter writer

but here goes

I will do my best

good job Geoff only lived in the next Village

or he would have finished with me years ago

Kitty fowler tried to

but I wom

mum always bought me nice clothes

so I think that helped’

 

You were never one for punctuation,

always preferred Maths

and loved to say how clever you had been

back when you were at school.

 

So here goes,

the latest news from this end as best as I can tell it.

The wedding will be June,

I’m sorry you won’t see me,

but I’ll feel you every step of the way.

You met Sean on a few occasions

but never remembered him afterwards,

though you seemed to like him at the time.

Mum still works outside with her hands,

Joanna is at university studying enginerring

and no they are not just men’s jobs anymore.

I have taken up a careers in accounting,

your love for numbers must have gone deeper than I thought

but I still spill words onto pages

whenever there is a pen and a blank sheet available.

Outside it is snowing like the time Grandad built a sledge

from a plastic tub with water piping runners.

Joanna and I played on the bank by the oak

until we were soaked and frozen to the bone.

Warming ourselves beside your electric heater,

we listened to you tell us stories

about being the only women

with a driving licence in your village.

How hid under the stairs when the air raids came,

and your husband drove home during blackouts

headlights shuttered and milk-bottle glasses

perched on his nose.

 

I don’t doubt you had more stories left to tell,

and I’m sorry I didn’t have chance to hear them.

Maybe someday I will find you

and you can tell me everything you forgot

to put in your letters.

 

 


dverselogo

Tonight at DVersePoetsPub we’re being challenged to write letters, though I think this might be cheating slightly as I have quite literally quoted from a letter I received from my Great-gran while I was studying history in Bath.

The prospect of writing a letter always reminds me of her so I couldn’t try to write anything else for this prompt without first writing her a letter.

This entry was posted in: Poetry

by

Carol Forrester is a twenty-four year old writer trying to be a better one. Don’t ask her what her hobbies are because the list doesn’t get much beyond, reading, writing and talking about the same. She has a 2:1 BA degree in history from Bath Spa University and various poems and stories scattered across the net. Her flash fiction story ‘Glorious Silence’ was named as River Ram Press’ short story of the month for August 2014 and her short story ‘A Visit From The Fortune Teller’ has been showcased on the literary site Ink Pantry’s. Most recently, her poem ‘Sunsets’ was featured on Eyes Plus Words, and her personal blog Writing and Works hosts a mass of writing from across the last five years. She has been lucky enough to write guest posts for sites such as Inky Tavern and Song of The Forlorn and is always open to writing more and hosting guest bloggers here on Writing and Works. With hopes of publishing a novel in the next five years and perhaps a collection or two of smaller works, Carol Forrester is nothing if not ambitious. Her writing tries to cover every theme in human life and a lot of her work pulls inspiration from her own eccentric family in the rural wonders of Shropshire life.

20 Comments

  1. I love the way you closed this. Also these sections:

    “none are dated so I can’t be sure when exactly you wrote them.
    One is marked as Sunday and another with Market Drayton
    as if I might have forgotten where you were
    in the time between visits”

    “In Sunday you change tact,
    letting slip moments of history like castaway comments”

    “and your husband drove home during blackouts
    headlights shuttered and milk-bottle glasses
    perched on his nose”

    • I really enjoyed writing those pieces, every time I put one in I remembered something else. It was a lovely experience of remembering half forgotten stories.

  2. I love how you ended the letter. It sounds like the few letters my grandmother and I wrote and sent. I have a feeling that those we love and who have gone before, will have plenty of time to remember and to share with us. A beautiful letter full of love.

    • Thank you Bjorn, her stories could seem to odd at times and she’d just spout them out at random moments. Like not taking formal driving lessons but being taught to drive by the local Lady’s driver.

  3. I enjoyed your chatty letter poem, Carol. I miss receiving letters like that. These days everyone seems to text or send emails. I’m glad that you have kept Ba’s letters – I also have a collection of letters and postcards and refuse to throw them away. I like the idea of Granny’s post-script notes! I also like that you have commented on the snow, which I can see from my window. The final lines brought a tear to my eye.

  4. I love this, the way the letter reveals pieces of personality, your grandmother’s history and stories. It sounds like she was a very interesting woman.

Please take the time to tell me what you think, I love receiving feedback. :)

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