"I am hearing poetry when awake, dreaming poetry when asleep, breathing poetry with each breath, I am living in a poem."

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Not Quite an Obituary

She liked her mail sorted,
gas tank brim topped,
and no questions asked
when you couldn’t spell
your own name.

Weather didn’t mean shit
when duty called… She was
summer toast and winter chilled.

She’d seen it all…Heard it all..
Felt the teeth…Fielded the complaints.
Fickle box expectations grew
in wings or horns…She was queen
of cut to the chase.

I miss the personal in impersonal,
a weak smile illuminating time constraint.
Change killed our mailbox meetings
and sent her down the street to
a metal condo to stuff tiny spaces
in a step clear and wait kind of way.

©Susie Clevenger 2018



14 comments :

Toni said...

Perfect!

WildChild47 said...

Intriguing and stunning - love the biting words, the suppositions, and yet, such a defined sense of the knowing.

And summer toast and winter chilled - absolutely gorgeous.

Margaret said...

Really cool. I have a PO Box and I see people every day week in, week out... usually a casual greeting maybe - and then one day they just are no longer there. It is a funny sort of "contact"...

Isadora Gruye said...

This one is very tongue in cheek, Susie. And you are right it's not quite an obit, perhaps a deeper lament. I like it none the less!!!! Thanks for posting to the out of standard!

Old Egg said...

I loved the sad feeling that came over me as I read this. Beautifully written with that tinge of regret.

Gillena Cox said...

"I miss the personal in impersonal,
a weak smile illuminating time constraint."

my favourite lines, for the little tug of tension, in a supposedly relationship

Happy you dropped by to read mine Susie

much love...

Brendan MacOdrum said...

Funny how these encounters with strangers tell us most about ourselves. Such sharp and prescient detail. And yeah -- solid gold in "summer toast and winter chilled."

Jim said...

Nice, Susie. You had me waiting to see the writer's connection. We get our mail in a community box a couple of blocks down. After two years neither of us have made an acquaintance there. Most drive up, hop out, get mail, possibly smile, hop back in, drive away. Our weekly Thursday evening with KP, now eifht, dining brings acquaintances but we don't remember names.
..

Toni said...

My earlier comment was rushed as I ran out the door for a meeting! This brought back the experience of waving or exchanging hellos for years. When the 'metal condo' went in, we immediately returned to strangers!

Fireblossom said...

Queen of cut to the chase...I love that!

When I was delivering mail, I--and every carrier--had two greetings we absolutely hated. 1. "Hot enough for ya? Har har har!" and 2. "Cold enough for ya? Har har har!"

"You're late" was another unfavorite. More than once, I asked 'When was my appointment?" which always drew blank looks.

brudberg said...

Those casual encounters every day... we are so familiar with those strangers we never notice them until they are gone.

Sara McNulty said...

I really relate to this, Susie. Before we moved to Portland, we had a personable mail carrier, and chatted with him a bit whenever we met. The 'condo of little metal boxes' in Portland allowed for no interaction. Now we are back in NY, and have a regular mail carrier again. I love your description of 'summer toast and winter chilled'.

Kim Russell said...

There's poignancy in casual acquaintance, especially when you see someone every day and then you don't. I love the phrase 'She was summer toast and winter chilled' and the lines:
'She’d seen it all…Heard it all..
Felt the teeth…Fielded the complaints.
Fickle box expectations grew
in wings or horns…She was queen
of cut to the chase.'

Kerry O'Connor said...

I like the way you have shown the connections between people that are barely noticed but meaningful nonetheless.

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