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A Thought for Today

What is finished should be finally done, not hung onto like a lifeline that will finally stretch and snap.


A few weeks back I published a new poem, ďTo One AbsentĒ and last Saturday continued somewhat in the same vein with ďA Love Letter Unsent.Ē It seems as though Iíve started something that has taken on a life of its own. The amount of mail that continues to come in regarding both is more than I had ever anticipated.

Does everyone have a secret love or someone they feel they can only communicate with by unsent letters? And what are the reasons, shyness, someone who has gone to the other side, fear of rejection? Does the need for writing such personal letters but not sending result from one or both of you being in another relationship? Are you separated by prison walls or walls of your own making, or is it some something else?

Whatever the reason there seem to be a lot of you who are doing as I do, writing notes and other mail the beloved one may never see. Many of you have confided in me and told me Ďthe why.í As to my reasons for writing letters that go unsent, I have shared them with only one other person.

I go on writing letters that I do not send because I have to. They need to be gotten out of me and onto paper. Perhaps I am in love and unwilling to go the final mile, you may draw your own conclusions. Some of what I write is too personal or too erotic to share and so they stay the bigger secret. But there are those letters and parts of letters Iím willing to let go of on a Saturday morning and another one of these is printed below. A few more lines of words, silly and self indulgent to those who are not in love and perhaps thoughtful to those who are. For the latter I hope that whatever chord they strike will be loud enough to make a difference, if that difference is only to let you know you are not alone.

RM 6/7/2001 Previously unpublished

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notable birthdays George Axelrod o Ilene Cotrubas o Robert Cummings o Marcia Davenport o Johnny Depp o Donald Duck o Mona Freeman o Michael J. Fox o Marvin Kalb o Robert S. McNamara o Jackie Mason o Les Paul o Peter the Great o Cole Porter o Natalie Portman o Happy Rockefeller o Dick Vitale o Fred Waring o Jackie Wilson
Rod's random thoughts Only the seed the old tree drops to start another cycle of life is important.

I'm mad at midnight for the things I didn't do. That doesn't mean I wouldn't take a chance again.

Say I love you freely, but remember that it cannot be taken back.


Dear You,

Last night after speaking with you (call it making love because I cannot hear your voice even on the telephone without a sense than we are doing more than talking) I fell asleep almost as soon as the sound of you trailed off on the line. It was early and sometime after midnight I came awake again: not with a start but the way one goes to sleep, I drifted awake.

Your breath was heavy on me as if your head had found that hollow in my chest and knew it was eternal nesting space. I bent down to your thighs and grasped a handful of you in an easy grip. We stayed that way a small forever, my other hand pressing your head even closer to me.

When we are together our kisses come so often, as if one pair of lips cannot canvas the other quite enough. They interrupt whatever else our mouths are doing, speaking, tasting one anotherís humps and caves, sighing, breathing. Have I been kissed so often? Never. And it is never enough. The taste of you is not like anything I can name, not even you, for it is different every time. Similes were not made for your saliva mixed with mine.

Your neck, your shoulders, your back a new adventure to me every time. Did any other pioneer lay hands on fresh new relics without another distant dig or relay race? My thumb finds freshness from familiar rib and shoulder blade. Your tongue along my elbow without warning eases ache that never was.

I donít suppose Iíll ever know how much of us is memory and how much made up because of my awful need to be with you. I know, I know, be patient. I am, we are. Soon. If soon is tomorrow, Iíll be here. If soon means years or sometime, Iíll be here. If you think you hear me say I love you at odd times, you are always right. I love you. I say it often and I think it always.

We are apart for now, but only now. Good night, my love, and good morning.

As always,


RM 6/3/2001 1:15 AM First Publication 6/9/2001

© 1959, 1980, 2001 by Stanyan Music Group & Rod McKuen. All Rights Reserved
Birthday research by Wade Alexander o Poetry from the collection of Jay Hagan o Coordinated by Melinda Smith
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