Unsent Letter Fragment, Document Number 19055437, February 17, 1948, Museum of Immigration

by Pippa Little

…Franz, I’ve sewn all your old endearments
Into each and every stitch,
My fingers talking in comfortable rhythm
As the needle moves along the seam, in out, in out.
We’re murmuring together as we used to do,
Safe behind the streaming glass
This past month of evenings –
How it rains here! Sly northern rain,
Sometimes I’ve felt it washing me away
As if I’m made of sandstone.
But no! I’m flesh and blood!
So your Lotte looks like a woman once again
Who might wish to dance or smoke or kiss,
High-stepping in strap heels, swathed
In five yards of damsons, strawberries and limes –
There was a little cloth left over, Franz.
It’s in my suitcase, which still smells of home
When I first lift its lid, stranded up here
In the chilly altitudes of my English wardrobe.
It wraps the poems I can never read – you know.
And the stone you found me that last day by the lake,
The pure zigzag quartz in it you said
Looked like mountain ice trapped inside.
I add another year to those without you,
Each one added to my mound
Of mourning stones. And there are stones
In each pocket of this foreign dress.