Letters from Yorkshire by Maura Dooley

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