“No Love Letters” by Helen Casey
There were no love letters to my grandmother.
She could not read. I would be making it up
if I described thin blue sheets of words
binding them. Or roses. He was, as she was,
from the old country, the man who would be
my grandfather. Without money. It was 1919.
He came to return a gun he had used.
Your children need a father. Mine need a mother.
She might have liked more of language
simmering with love that steamed, and spice. Or,
embraces. Hard times ahead is what they both knew.
Too much of not enough. Could she have refused
such a man—a gun, an offer, so few words—
all of them indelible, reeking only of fact?
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Helen Marie Casey’s Artist Statement: Helen Marie Casey’s chapbooks include Fragrance Upon His Lips, a series of poems about Joan of Arc, and Inconsiderate Madness, a series of poems about Mary Dyer. She has also written a biography, My Dear Girl: The Art of Florence Hosmer. She won the 14th National Poet Hunt of The MacGuffin in 2010, the 2014 Frank O’Hara Prize from the Worcester County Poetry Association, and was named a semifinalist for the 2015 Paumanok Poetry Award. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies.