Gabriele Hartmann (in: summer grass 126)

A piece of heaven

Stamps. A whole box full. A narrow border around the cut-out marks. A piece of heaven on the back. Cloudless. Somewhere in the south. Who wrote all the postcards?
Father put on a kettle and took off his flute. He uses tweezers to hold the cutouts in the steam. He places the detached marks face down on a dry cloth and smoothes - almost tenderly - with one finger. Later he - with the tweezers again - will sort them into thick albums that burn the remains in the oven.


Once I wanted to help father. He was still at work and I would surprise him. So I threw a handful of stamps in hot water, fished them out and plucked them from the box. Too impatient

because some got caught and jags ripped off. And I was amazed: “ild” was hidden in tiny letters under some brands. When father came home, he was not happy. He pressed his lips together, threw the whole mess into the fire, and closed the box with the other stamps in a drawer. He attached the key to his waistband. We never talked about it.


I hold Father's last letter in my hand, covered with a series of colorful stamps from a country in the south. He describes his everyday life, his joys, his happiness side by side. "Please pick up the envelope,
ild "

secret signs
Beyond the horizon
a glow

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Year of publication: 2019

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