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Sanders, Kay / That red dirt road
(2010)

Letters written in longhand,   p. 19


Page 19

Letters Written in Longhand
Looking through my mother's old cookbook,
published in celebration
of Alabama's sesquicentennial,
I come across divider pages,
the backs blank when the book was new,
filled now with her handwritten copies of recipes,
and suddenly I am propelled into her presence
just by the sight of her handwriting,
feathery lines that float across the page,
familiar as my own
heartbeat. Familiar
as her letters written in longhand,
a script that travels across the years
as inexorably as it once traced
the northward curve of the continent
to find me here in Wisconsin.
And I marvel at a thing so simple that joins
two spirits no longer present
to each other in the flesh.
19


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