birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Dear H

Dear H,

I have written a letter such as this many times and never sent a one--but that's because I didn't know where to send it, or even what "H" stands for.

We only knew one another for three days, your first three in this tactile world, but I want you to know that I have been here, from a safe distance, ever since. But how could you know that? You cannot remember me, what my face looked like through your newborn eyes or even how I smelled. Those are things that are not likely to have been imbedded in your nascent memory, but I have always hoped that there was some sort of imprint, like little ducks make on the first faces they see when they crack out of their eggs. And because these letters have never been sent, you don't even have a piece of paper touched by my hand or sealed with my kiss or scrawled in my wretched handwriting to hold.

You are a young man now--have 20 years really passed since we said goodbye--and you are old enough to send me a letter of your own. But I bet you wouldn't know where to send it yourself, if you even wanted to.

So I will keep this letter in the box with all the others and maybe, just maybe, one day you will want to see them. I hope so. I SO hope.


Love, Sis

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