To Ophelia:

Birding in the Azores?  What will you be doing next?  I’m sure things will work out with Sue Ann.   She’s a good soul, but needs lots  of space, and less time.  Buy her a green balloon next time you go to the zoo.


To Dr. Kevorkian:

I’m so sorry we didn’t make it to the party–by all accounts it was fabulous!  I had no idea your daughter was so accomplished–and the flowers!  and the music!  Next year, I promise you, we’ll be in Taos for the season.


To Emily Dickinson:

Thank you so much for the vase.  Just knowing its lineage makes it precious to me–Ludwig, and the Washingtons, Marvin and Ann-Louise.  But it’s beautiful, too–the shape and the way the light plays around the thin clear rim.  I shall keep it filled with apricot-colored roses, in memory of our times at the Cape.


To Clara Schumann:

Whatever can I say?  How can I possibly apologize enough?  My only excuse, which is of course inexcusable, is that I didn’t know how deeply involved you were with him.  Of course I’ll never, ever see him again, and of course I’ve burned the photograph.  I hope in time you’ll forgive me.


To John Locke:

The air this morning is like clear green tea, and the mists are draping over the hills like little lacy handkerchiefs.  Oh, I know you accuse me of being sentimental, and I suppose I am, but I keep expecting you to appear between the trees like a Knight on Horseback, or better, the King of Ireland’s Son.


To Hillary Clinton:

She had the baby, did Mother tell you?  And she still won’t say who its father is.  It’s a big child, with clear gray eyes and long fingers.  I strongly suspect the oboeist, but I may be wrong.  I wish you hadn’t left her in the station that night, but there it is.  I know quite well how difficult she can be.



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