Posted tagged ‘out by the mailbox poem’


April 4, 2014



She sat when she was small
and Time was tall
and the unfolding of a house–
the way it yawned and roused
itself from the naps of houses–
she’d stayed home sick, alone–
they worked, they phoned–
filled her chest with fright
as if she’d sighted
in the hall–for she was small–
a gorilla or a thief–Time was so tall–
a robber in the closet–
she’d turned full hard the faucet
for the noise, the TV too–
but even the bright blue
of whitening power,
the game show of the hour,
could not crowd out
the terrible roust-about
of brick, of wall, nowhere at all
to run (for she was small, Time tall)
and she would walk out to the curb–
and yes, it sounds absurd
if you are big and time is short–
but for her it was a port
from roomside storm, and she would sit
beneath the mail box as if it
were a matter of an important letter,
as if she were important, or better,
as if she were, and of course, she was
which is exactly what she feared, because
if she was–she could be caught–
there, in the house where she thought
she heard the step of someone home,
someone who didn’t know that, yes, they phoned,
someone who could trap her in the bedroom or the hall
where there was nowhere to run at all,
if you were small and Time–too tall–

Here’s my draftish poem for April 4, written for Fireblossom (Shay’s) prompt on With Real Toads to write something about letters, the mail.  I am recycling the drawing (mine) from another somewhat different poem that uses some of the same imagery. 

Reading note–as some know, I am a big believer in punctuation, so typically in reading my poems, there are only pauses at the ends of lines, where punctuated. 


“Making Me Feel Better

January 24, 2013


Making Me Feel Better

I ask him, if I die–(if)
would he hold me
till the last moment.

I know he will, though not
why I need to hear it — I have no illness, not
yet, but he’s not
right here and tears of an instant
jam me, their heat as tight
as clothes I should have
grown out of–and I feel again
a child, home alone, sick
and out of school for the day, when, shaken
by the hollow house, I would go
outside and sit upon the curb–there, out
by the mailbox–even fevered–
so that there would be places, I thought,
where I could run;
so that I would not, I hoped,
be trapped;
imagining in the narrows of corridor
and mind, some body, padded with shadow, blocking
my every egress.

Now, I’ve had so many friends–
I won’t count them–who’ve gone already, trapped
inside bodies that would not
hold them, not here, and he says
‘oh, darling–’


I am posting the above for Anna Montgomery’s great prompt at dVerse Poets Pub “Meeting the Bar” on flow and creativity.  It’s a wonderful article on creative engagement, and how that brings a kind of energy to one’s life and work.  I was thinking here more about flow – my personal blocks and twists–and really how the mind flows too – though mine sloshes more than flows, I think – like a rather leaky bowl! 

(The picture, albeit without elephants, is original.  So, as always, all rights reserved.)

ps – kind of a draftish poem – maybe the end should refer simply to bodies “that would not hold them here, and he says, ‘oh darling–” I don’t know.   Sometimes things flow too fast. k.