The winter afternoon formed an undertow
of astonishment, and built an obelisk of surprise.
As she read the letter, she got goose bumps
and felt a tingle in her spine. She told
me how it overwhelmed. It was the height
of suddenness and the fountainhead of fate.
A brother, two sisters, unknown to her,
a family scattered like sand in childhood.
Enrichment and revelation; to suddenly learn
of them, like found money only more profound.
She sat back in her chair and reread the letter.
Is this for real? Things like this happen only
on television or in novels. Now the phone calls,
the visitations, the reunions…a year
of Hershey bars and bushel basket memories
eagerly consumed, the adoptions, the foster homes,
the information crackling like egg shells.
A parachute year in descents of peppermint,
a keepsake year…a stunning afternoon,
a quickening of her pulse.
It expressed some doubt;
perhaps this reach across the years would fall short.
Yet the embryo of hope was sown as well; a number
to call, new people to know. Her agenda set aside,
she read the words again and let her thoughts abide.
After supper she sat quiet for some time
just to catch her breath, and the winter night
beheld her drama with twenty thousand eyes.
She gathered memories and joy, and reached
for the telephone.
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