In February, digging his garden, planting potatoes,
he saw the first lapwings return and came
indoors to write to me, his knuckles singing
as they reddened in the warmth.
It’s not romance, simply how things are.
You out there, in the cold, seeing the seasons
turning, me with my heartful of headlines
feeding words onto a blank screen.
Is your life more real because you dig and sow?
You wouldn’t say so, breaking ice on a waterbutt,
clearing a path through snow. Still, it’s you
who sends me word of that other world
pouring air and light into an envelope. So that
at night, watching the same news in different houses,
our souls tap out messages across the icy miles.
Letters from Yorkshire by Maura Dooley