"Honeychild, sugarplum, babydoll, darling"--
Lyle's letters to Delores
(WWII transforming longing from "when we're married" to "please wait and if I don't die")
making the future Sam Cooke jealous as hell.
Grandpa, reading your letters while stretched and sweaty on a summer lawn chair, a monarch and a goldfinch are perched on the fence, talking about the impermanence of seasons and how space and migration "isn't such big deal."
And after reading the 1944 you, I, too, write to compress time and space, for when else but summer for magical thinking? In winter dreams are hunkered down under blankets and next to fires but in summer even nightingales take flight and live on.
Grandpa, I don't think letters can work the same magic anymore--how can paper and ink invite the beloved to sit close, sit right here, to elide distance and time when we've got electrical currents instant and ephemeral?
But nonetheless, because of you, Grandpa--your earnestness and imperfect spelling--
and your hundreds and hundreds of letters, filled with longing and the longest of long distance love,
I've picked out the prettiest paper. Used my best pen. Opened my sweetest vein. Licked the envelope shut and sent it out into the world.