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Postcard From Home by Al Zolynas

Dear MJ,

A year ago, you followed your heart (has it really been that long?). You were a thousand miles from home. I imagined you were scared. But I also thought, this is what they meant by being brave. (Yes, you were the brave one, between the two of us.)

It has been quite a few months after that, and lots of letters. Lots of getting drunk, too, you and me, come to think of it. Also: postcards that I treasure as they arrive on my door.

It is midnight now, where I am. I’m thinking of you. Today you are beginning a new chapter in your life. Things are changing. Can you feel it?

Here’s what I know: there are some wounds that would take some time to heal. Some pieces of yourself that will remain lost. Some aches that will always be there. But there will be days, too, when joy finds you unexpectedly. When you turn the pages of a book, or when you are flying your kite, or when you are sitting on your porch holding a cold bottle—you’ll find that life is actually good, and it’s worth it, all that hurt, just to be here. Now. (And when it isn’t—well, you know that I have your back, yeah?)

My dear friend. Here is something you told me once: “The world is still a beautiful place, even if it is too strong for us at times.”

I am glad you are in my life. Happy birthday.


Postcard From Home
Al Zolynas

Sitting on the deck, bare feet
on the railing, I watch and listen to
this day spilling out its myriad flow of details, one
after another, one on top of another, seamlessly,
with no apologies, not the slightest backing off:
two ruby-throated humming birds
drinking their sugar water, distant dogs
barking, the sudden shriek
of wood surrendering to a neighbor’s power saw,
those boulders poking out of the hillside, another subdivision
materializing on the stripped land across the valley.
Each detail says “This!”
and has always and ever only said “This!”
Wish I were here.

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