“The Letter” by Dana Gioia

“The Letter” by Dana Gioia

And in the end, all that is really left
Is a feeling—strong and unavoidable—
That somehow we deserved something better.  
That somewhere along the line things
Got fouled up. And that letter from whoever’s  
In charge, which certainly would have set  
Everything straight between us and the world,
Never reached us. Got lost somewhere.  
Possibly mislaid in some provincial station.  
Or sent by mistake to an old address  
Whose new tenant put it on her dresser  
With the curlers and the hairspray forgetting  
To give it to the landlord to forward.  
And we still wait like children who have sent  
Two weeks’ allowance far away  
To answer an enticing advertisement  
From a crumbling, yellow magazine,
Watching through years as long as a childhood summer,  
Checking the postbox with impatient faith  
Even on days when mail is never brought.

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