Recontextualized, as it was,
I at first did not recognize it.
A jotted note
irrelevant in content.
The important thing was this:
it was jotted
on tacky, penguin-shaped paper.
That note pad had sat in the corner of the cluttered kitchen
so long that dust clung to the clear plastic wrap.
It was meant to accompany a more proper Christmas gift
for our penguin-loving friend from the Great Before…
Or maybe it was planned as part of a years-ago birthday gift
To be honest
for all I know
it was intended as a spontaneous gift meant to say “hey, we’re still thinking about you”
Except that the problem is
we’re not still thinking of you.
If we were we’d have mailed last month
or last year
or the year before.
The penguin note pad made itself a home.
It resided above the fresh fruit in the copper hanging baskets
Each time I glanced at it,
it offered me a pang–
no a twinge–
of rememberance tempered with guilt
It’s as if I could hold onto the delusion that the miles between us
aren’t greater than us
as long as I thought maybe we’d mail it someday.
Now, I’m relieved