Old Love Letters

The old lady tenderly lifts
A stack of envelopes
Yellowed with age
And as she sees once again
The familiar handwriting
Tears begin to spill from her eyes.

She hugs the letters to her
And weeps at the thoughts
Crowding into her mind;
Memories of her loved one
Who left this earth
Many years ago.
The one she had vowed to love,
Honour and obey
And to whom she had been faithful
Through thirty-eight years of marriage.

One by one she opens the envelopes
And with misty eyes reads the words
Of love and devotion
Penned more than fifty years earlier,
Before they were married.

With deep emotion she remembers
The many occasions when her beloved
Would drive quite a distance
In his ancient ramshackle car
Following a day of hard manual labour
To spend a few precious hours with her.
Arriving back home late at night,
He would sit on his bed
And write a brief note
Expressing his deepest feelings
Before he retired for the night.

For many reasons,
Those heartfelt expressions
Had become sentimental treasures.

Many times she had brought out
That stack of fifty-six letters,
Intending to discard them
But every time they had been reread
Wept over, and placed back in the box.

She could almost feel the warmth of his arms
Around her
And hear his voice saying those lovely words
Once again.
She could imagine herself as she was then,
Full of the hope and enthusiasm
Of a young woman in love.

Comforted by the knowledge
That he had truly cared for her
And that he is waiting in the next world
To welcome her home.
She replaces the letters one more time.

Honoria A. Groves

May 25, 2004