Unexpected Letter by Laurel Smith In a dream you swear you never dreamed, your moth er is writing a letter left-handed on plain paper in a cursive you must work to decipher—so unlike the perfect hand in the letters she wrote you. Now an urgent message has shaken her ability to hold a pen, or she has suffered a stroke and expects you to see the chaos, to translate her pain, or you missed the point of every letter she sent: her calm, cheerful text punctuating the years while this letter is the one she intended all the time. So you focus on each loop that tries to be a vowel, each chunk of ink that wants to be a word since she will not speak again and this broken verse is for you. Laurel Smith lives in Vincennes, Indiana, and happily participates in projects to promote literacy and the arts. Her poems have appeared in Natural Bridge , New Millen
Flying Island is the Online Literary Journal of the Indiana Writers Center, accepting submissions from Midwest residents and those with significant ties to the Midwest.