Before Computers

Category: Writing

I had letters to write:
Dear Sir, I would like to introduce myself
and to thank you for your time and attention.
Love, oh dearest love, the old bat told me
you are a rogue and a curl.
I don’t believe her though, Sir.
P.S. And so what if you are!

Hope you get well soon, Mom.
Please don’t forget you must arrive at your
a dentist’s appointment on Thursday
the third of June before ten o’clock in the morning.
1+2+234=237

Imagine that. Still two hundred thirty-seven.
I excelled at addition and subtraction
they are sublime when shopping and cooking,
for counting my change or doubling my recipe when
hungry friends come unexpectedly for dinner.

I had friends, yes I did - and we got drunk
on Tawny Port from time to time, but we didn’t throw up
like the boys who drank whiskey did and
I called these erstwhile friends of mine with the help of
an address book with pansys on the cover
filled with telephone numbers from people I don’t even
know anymore written in forty different colors of ink.

If I liked you very much, or was feeling lazy I
just memorized your number by playing
with the patterns that shifted one against another.
But that was before we had computers
and life was so easy.

- Nancy Carroll

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