From the Archives

My Mother's Last Christmas Card, Unsent

Michael Spence

Dear Ruth & Bill,
                                   So glad to hear you'll stay
At home this year—I find the celebrations
Get gaudier each season. Lord, the way
Some people light their homes, We're told to ration
Electricity . . . and by TV, yet! Sure—
WIth all this crazy blinking like the rides
At Coney Island back when we were poor
And happy. Three of my four kids cried
On that ferris wheel: which of them was brave?
(This pen's begun to skip—I need to bear
Down hard to get the letters out.) I gave
My shamrock necklace back to Ree to wear—
The jade's too green for me. Take care.
                                                                    Love, Eileen
P.S. don't think I'll use this pen again

Michael Spence drove public-transit buses in the Seattle area for over twenty years. His books include Adam Chooses Roses.
Originally published:
October 1, 2004

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