May 12, 2009

snapshot

I’m waiting for a letter that never comes. I think about how in my mother’s childhood, the mail came twice a day. A doubling of both possibility and longing. I’m waiting for something that might be, or something will never come to pass. I’m on the porch of a graceful house. There is a sofa, it is my waiting seat. I sit here in the waning hours of an afternoon, feet up on the railing, shoulders sunk deep into the pillowy back of the couch. Watching the hours and the people pass, waiting, waiting for what comes next, waiting for the mailman, who always comes. He wears government-issue Bermuda shorts and pink plastic mirrored sunglasses. He is cheerful and repentant for a hard-lived life, the effects of which are etched into the pockmarks on his cheeks.

He had a name but it has been forgotten, along with the sender of the letter that never arrived.

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