Melissa Balmain: In-Box
For Gina Ingoglia Weiner, 1938-2015
You’re gone a month when it appears—
a message in my queue.
My stomach veers, my heart slips gears;
it says that it’s from you!
I let it sit a while, unread,
as loopy hopes burn bright.
We always said, alive or dead,
you'd find a way to write:
This place is real—who would've guessed?
My halo is a beaut.
They've fixed my chest. … The food's the best!
The cherubs? So damn cute.
I always take my morning strolls
with Mother (she says hi),
then wolf some bowls of doughnut holes
or half a pumpkin pie.
Most afternoons till five or so
I’m sketching with my pals—
Claude, Georgia O, Toulouse and co.—
I love those guys and gals.
What else? I could go on for days!
New tunes of Debussy's,
new Chekhov plays and Child soufflés,
new Christie mysteries . . .
At last I open up the note
and even as I groan
(it's Dad who wrote, of course; I quote:
"with help from Mommy's phone"),
and even as I answer—ping!—
and let the screen go black,
there's just one thing I'm wondering:
who's going to write me back?