Mary Cassatt: The Letter (1890-1891)

All day it is with her like a song

even as she slices a breakfast orange,

brushes her hair,

shuts a window.

She is listening to it

when company calls

and she talks about yesterday's news,

pours tea,

says good-bye at the door.

Then, alone with it finally

in late afternoon,

she puts it on the desk,

arranges it

as though she were putting flowers in a vase.

Then she slips it into the envelope,

seals it with her tongue.