“The Last Letter” By Charissa Roberson

Wait a moment.
The boys are laughing outside,
Chasing leaves through the dust.
Pale leaves curl around the sill,
Like fragile ears bending to listen.
I have your words in my hand.
They weigh heavy. Just paper,
A bit of ink, traced there by
A cold and trembling hand.
Yet I feel worlds between my fingers.
Not just this one, but the next.
I have always read such depth
In your lines, as if I saw you
There before me, speaking the words
With your low, gentle voice on
Soft lips, beneath honey-brown
Eyes so firm, so kind…so far.
So far from me now.
I hold your words in my hand,
But not you. Those heavy,
Heavy, words. I hold them to my heart —
That scrap made precious by your sprawling strokes —
And wait. No need to rush.
No letters will follow this one.
I wait and watch your boys play beneath my window.
Between the lace curtains and the leaves,
I see their breathless smiles and my
Rumpled auburn hair and your
Gentle honey eyes shining from faces flushed with sun.
No need to call them yet.
I feel no rush to speak your words,
Not now, not yet. For when I do,
And when your laden ink bleeds dry, I’ll
Loose your thoughts in summer air
And never hear you speak again.


Charissa Roberson is a student of creative writing and French at Roanoke College, with a minor in screen studies. Her previous work has finalized in the Lex Allen Literary Festival at Hollins University and been published in The Elevation Review and in Roanoke College’s student literary magazine. When not writing, Charissa loves reading, spending time with friends and family, traveling, and playing her fiddle. To paraphrase C.S. Lewis, there will never be a fantasy novel long enough or cup of coffee big enough to suit her. She currently lives in Maryland with her golden retriever, Aoife.

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