Here is a letter
come across the ocean
over the back of a world
curved like a whale.
I unwrap it, like tissue,
and sentences spill out,
as though the seal on a jar has broken,
coils of cornflower blue
on paper thin as shell.
I saw a sailor’s valentine once
in a museum in Nantucket Sound,
a mosaic of broken scallop
glued in a compass rose.
‘Writ from the heart’ it said.
Words come best like that:
in ink or blood,
when the source is from a major vein.
I read, and understand this much:
if ink sees off time and miles, then so must love.
About this poem
‘Letter’ is one of the poems distributed on postcards to libraries and participating schools across Scotland for National Poetry Day 2016.