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As much as I would like to tell you
in words how much you matter, that can
never be, because you’ve reinforced
the mailbox of your heart with a glue
no mortal can unstick. This life span
where we’ve overlapped will run its course,
and you’ll escape with me holding all
the letters I’d have written to you
with nowhere to post them, only here.
What you called shyness, I call big tall
fear of who I know you are. It’s true
that love shot full of holes smells like fear,
but wild sage will find a way to send
my message of love that never ends.


This little sonnet goes out
to all the sons and daughters,
brothers and sisters of the ones
who’ve decided to be hard to love.

Happy Father’s Day!

© Elaine Stirling, 2014
This gorgeous photograph of a rural mailbox is by Paul Ryan.