a glass of sweet sherry
It was undated, but the colour of the paper confirmed its age, together with crinkled edges and split folds backed with sellotape. The card in which it was inserted had long since faded, the shape of a heart, a feint line. I recognised my father’s handwriting.
My dearest Rosemary,
You are a language I’ve learned by heart. A dialect, a patois; the words of native speakers, known only to those who love, those who place someone else on a pedestal, ahead of themselves.
Your hair, a magical mass of golden filaments; your eyes, so deep, I could drown in their orbs with no oxygen available, and your lips, painted or not, sweet, sensuous, desirable when open or together.
I do and will always love you.
I found it on top of the contents of my mother’s jewellery case when I was sorting out her effects during the week following her funeral. I frowned; my mother’s name was Joan. Rose was her sister. When I was younger, people always said that I featured my aunt.