Esther Fich

My Picture Postcard Collection

My Picture Postcard Collection
Most signatures no longer rouse a face from memory
Most messages lack meaning now.
Why don’t I toss them out?

My card collection was begun
when I was very young
and jealous of a playmate’s toy
-her mother’s childhood doll—
for I had nothing similar
to show that my mom too
had thought about her future child
and saved a toy for me.

My mom did try hard to explain
why she left all behind
when crossing Russia’s boundary line
to chance if she were caught
then could not claim to merely be
out hiking for the day.

So I determined then to save
mailed postcards for my child
to treasure from a doting mom
whatever life might bring
for they would be both portable
and seem so innocent.

The years went by until I knew
no daughter would be mine
yet habit would not let me stop
accumulating cards.
Most signatures no longer bring
a face from memory.
Few messages have meaning now.

Why can’t I throw them out?


Ester Fich is part of the Chelsea, Revere, Everett and Winthrop Writing Group. She has been active in environmental causes. Ester Fich lives in Winthrop, MA.