Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Letter


                                                    to my grandfather

In my dreams, Chicago looks like Gotham City
with gray buildings towering over you.
People push past as you walk slowly
with your cardboard suitcase, pretending
that you are going somewhere.
Not long ago you were on a train.
How did you end up here instead?
In my dreams there is a hotel.
The lobby looks like the inside
of a cathedral.
You are very handsome
in your uniform.
Years go by and you can no longer remember
her smell.
In your letters you both pretend
that this arrangement
is temporary.
Yet, you know
how it is going to end.
You know I’ll be the one to find you
one day.
You know I’ll spend a night
in this hotel.
How could it be any other way?
You have chosen a room for me.
You have made sure that the bed is extra comfortable.
There will be fresh flowers on the nightstand.
In the drawer, your letter.

This is my NaPoWriMo Day 3 poem. I combined the Day 4 April PAD prompt (write a message poem) and the We Write Poems prompt 207. My grandfather spent the last 15 years of his life as a political refugee in Chicago. All I know about him during that time is that he worked as a concierge in a hotel (though probably not the Marriot). One day I am going to retrace his footsteps and find out what really happened to him. In the meantime, I am reinventing his history.



  1. This is beautiful. Soft and dreamy in tone, the words almost read in sepia (if language could adopt colors, anyway). I really enjoyed it. I love seeing where the muses take you.

    1. Thank you so much, Rodney. I see the whole picture in sepia - my grandfather lost in this alien city in the late 1940s. If I managed to convey that somehow, that's great.

  2. A noble endeavor Natasa! There are things that one can discover about them which may make one proud. Wonderful write!


    1. Thank you, Hank. Ancestors are important. They are a part of who we are.