Written by Jack Pettinato and HastyWords

After my grandmother died

I was sorting through her things

(what to keep, what to give away?)

and in a dust-covered trunk in the attic

I found a letter she’d written but didn’t send.


The envelope was stained

by years of dusty packed-away sins

(should I unseal it, should I peek?)

sealed-up and kept secret for years.

I sat looking at the name on the address line


then opened the letter,

hoping what I saw

would eventually make sense,

reading and reading and finally

seeing in the ink blurred by

tears not my own

deceit of which my grandfather never knew.


Forbidden love trapped

in these words that once had life,

a passionate despair held silent,

a journey of pain right before my eyes,

I held in my hand an alternate reality,

the story of a life buried here inside a trunk.


Hands trembling I hid the letter

deep within the trunk to

preserve the secret once again,

then decided my own letters

would never reveal

what my husband might only imagine.

6 thoughts on “LETTERS IN THE ATTIC

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