Wendy Elizabeth Ingersoll, two poems

Getting Mail

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