First Postcard

``Dear parents.'' It was not so much the choice

of words. They were surely copied

studiously from the white chalk script

on a blackboard. But it was picturing him

hunched over the postcard, concentrating

on the French precision of the letters:

``We have two aquariums in class.''

I could see where the black felt pen

moved slowly, hitching just before a curve

or the start of a line,

yet sure and flowing through the long loops:

``I have gone to fish on foot

to a beach where they sell fish.''

I could see him writing there

his first postcard home

and felt the breeze

coming in from the sea

and thought of all the aimless letters

I had cast out to my parents

and stared at the little name

at the bottom

with its two fish-eye ``o''s

that caught me, like a hook,


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