Letter to a Thief — AKA Gifts from 2020

Happy Poetry Friday! Welcome, everyone! (Wondering what Poetry Friday is? Click here.)

And Happy Thanksgiving to all my U.S. friends! This post almost didn’t happen, so this will be quick! Our Poetry Princess challenge was hindsight, examined by revising or responding to an earlier poem. I didn’t really follow that direction (guilty look here). I just took hindsight as my prompt. Although 2020 has totally sucked in so many ways, there have also been gifts. So I decided to write an epistolary poem to the almost-over year…and I guess it’s a good sign that I had trouble narrowing down the things I’m grateful for from this year. I’m grateful for my wonderful online community, now more than ever! So many times when I’ve felt a bit discouraged, checking in with my online friends and with my Poetry Friday community has reminded me of all the good in my life!

I’d like to make it more sensory in the next draft, but here’s what I’ve got for now!

I’m looking forward to seeing what my Poetry Sisters have come up with–right along with you guys!



Click here to see all our previous Poetry Princesses collaborations. 

Carol at Carol’s Corner is rounding us up today with the Poetry Friday Roundup. Enjoy! And if you wrote a hindsight poem along with us, please share on social media or in the comments with the hashtag #PoetryPals!




23 Responses

  1. That is quite a letter–heartfelt and true in all the glorious details of silver linings. It shows me the great capacity of the writer to find goodness and hope. This should be your holiday letter. I might borrow this idea, if it’s OK?

    1. Of course, Linda! Well, I already sent my Christmas cards, so no letter from me:>) But happy if you like the idea and run with it!

  2. Well I know you cursed the thief, but there’re so many feel good parts to your poem Laura–love your friends from daily walks, your “endless blue October sky” with “maskless and free” geese, love, and YOUR important words–beautiful, thanks!

  3. Well I know you cursed the thief, but there’re so many feel good parts to your poem Laura–love your friends from daily walks, your “endless blue October sky” with “maskless and free” geese, and YOUR important words–beautiful, thanks!

  4. Dear Laura — I love this! So many great specifics in this poem… i think everyone should write an epistolary poem to 2020. Though if I had to pick “touch” or “words,” I’d say touch… May the last few weeks of 2020 be filled with more surprises and gratitude! xo

  5. Ah, 2020: the year that made so many of us accustomed to ease and privilege–even with our very real individual challenges–take notice of those blessings, drop some heedless excesses, recreate what’s really important in new ways. It’s been a good year for mirror-gazing. I also appreciate your dedication to playing, Laura!

    1. Indeed. I always TRY to be aware and grateful of my privileges and freedoms and luck, but 2020 has forced me to use that muscle relentlessly–and I’m stronger for it.

  6. “That I live with the one person I can’t live without.” Oh, Laura. Every single line in this poem brings me to my knees. I love your accounting here. Here’s to better brighter days, but also to holding on to all of this.

  7. An anti-theft proclamation is genius, but truly, it’s the detail here, precise and heartfelt, and the deliberate accounting of each thing to hold onto, that makes me cry. I adore the idea (Linda’s) of making this your holiday letter (if you do them—I don’t anymore.) All my love to you and your family.

  8. “That love leaps every distance.” Oh, that is gorgeous, and this whole poem so textured and meaningful and lovely, and if course I wish I’d written a letter back to this year, too. So much for the rules!

  9. I love this letter to 2020 and that long list of gratitude. We seem to notice more the good we have when things are generally so bad. I especially love your “lessons learned.” We certainly learned about the value of family through our small, intimate wedding. Add to your list those shining faces of my students when you honored them through their writing. If it weren’t for the pandemic, they never would’ve had this opportunity. Thanks again and again!

    1. Thank you, Margaret–and your email to me about your students was another gift of 2020. The 2020 world sometimes looks like debris from a bomb blast, but when I look close, there are so many sparkly wondrous bits.

  10. Oh, Laura, this poem moved me to tears several times. I loved the defiant, resilient voice and the many things you had to celebrate. I was especially deeply moved by your new skill and lessons learned.

    1. Molly, thank you. I feel so connected when another poet’s words make me cry. I don’t write deeply personal poems–ones about my own life, I mean–all that much. It means a lot that it resonated with you <3

  11. Laura, you start out with an exclamation of disdain for 2020, Many would agree with you. But then you moved to a listing of the good within: endless blue skies of October, maskless geese. Lessons learned were tender bits-love leaps every distance-sigh. This is a remarkable recounting of 2020 in a nutshell. On to 2021…

  12. You captured and held tight so many of the good parts of 2020. Thank you for reclaiming this year from the thief! (Did the donuts make it in? 🙂

  13. Thank you for sharing this letter–and for not letting 2020 steal everything. In the context of this crazy, difficult year, it’s at good reminder to appreciate the good things in life. And especially the important people. It’s interesting learning how to express love over a distance.

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