When the postman refuses to deliver mail
to my cousin’s box across the road
and under a myrtle straddled by roses,
cause so many ants brawl inside
that whenever he stuffs the phone bill in
he fears assault,
my cousin calls the Post Office.
She asks about her options.
Cut down the tree they say,
our computer will not allow
variation of mailbox location,
it’s programmed in.
My cousin’s face
gets red as she tells me.
Changing a mailbox,
like changing a tire,
a diaper, a husband,
is not so easy we agree.
I begin to get a bit red in the face myself.
My group reminds me weekly
it’s not in my job description to mend the planet,
nor even the Eastern Seaboard. But
nothing comes cheap, not even
mail. That night
driving past my father’s broken-down box
I turn the headlights off, follow blackout
up the lane. I think I see his shadow,
familiar, trudging ahead.
I speed up, night quickly
fills in the spaces, he’s gone. Sometimes