From Home

by Mary Anne Clarke

My love.
                I hope you have received the package –
A little snack, and that French language book.
You’ll guess I made those chocolate things myself:
I meant to make 16, not 12, but 4
Got snaggled into lumps of flour and butter –
And goodness knows your 12 are little better.

I look at the morning paper over breakfast.
Later I help Miss Dean to clean the church.
Sometimes, like fledglings on a perch, I pause,
And stop whatever I’m doing round the house;
And sometimes in the street I stand quite still
And hear the news boys cry the news they sell.

I write to you last thing when dusk is dim.
After I’ve unpinned and brushed my hair,
I take a sheet of paper from the drawer;
Smooth it flat across the desk; write your address –
With luck your section won’t have moved away –
And suck my pen and think of what to say.

Well, let me know if you get leave for New Year’s,
And I’ll hang a light above the doorway.