In A Cardboard Box

In a cardboard box on a wooden shelf in a broom cupboard behind a door in a corridor on the ground floor of a shabby house on an ill-lit lane winding towards the sea in a land whipped by blizzards and gales, there is an old picture postcard, stuffed in among a jumble of papers and scraps and cotton-reels and bobbins and pins and clinker and orts and scantlings. The picture on the postcard is of a pavilion on a green by the sea. On the other side of the postcard, to which in one corner is stuck a postage stamp, there is scrawled in fading ink an illegible name and address, and a message, written in block capitals and unpunctuated, and it says DO NOT FORSAKE ME O MY DARLING.

If we knew who lived in the shabby house on the ill-lit lane, if we rapped upon the door with a stick to coax them into the open, ah, then we might be able to find out who had forsaken whom, so many years ago, before the ink faded on the postcard, in the past, when the blizzards and the gales whipping the land were more violent, or so we are told in the tavern near the beach, by ancient sailors who remember, remember the weather, the weather.

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