The Dear Johns

When I was a little kid
I thought Dear John letters were just that:
letters addressed to an imaginary person named John
that would never be sent
about things you wanted gone from your life.

I wrote a lot of them.
They said things like:
Dear John, I don't want celery in my soup anymore;
Dear John, I think the organ is tacky and want to take guitar lessons;
Dear John, I wish Leslie went to a different school;
Dear John, they call me Chiclets because of my front teeth.

When I was twelve,
I found out that Dear John letters were for leaving those once loved,
and I realized that I had forgotten love in my Dear Johns,
so I wrote my last letter:
Dear John, I love you;
and I folded the letter into a little box I buried in the yard
and then hid out at the ball diamond
to avoid my organ lessons.