Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night

U.S. Mail Storage Box

The first leg of my nightly walk viewed
from above, the top of my head
a bobbing pie plate in the pale moon light
while the desultory clerk within

shuffles papers among drifting stacks
would betray speed, heading, my mood
telegraphed perhaps by scissoring limbs.
The U.S. Mail storage box at Sixth and Knowles

by the Old Fire Alarm building, pitched
off plumb on a frost heaved slab, stamped steel lock
box ordinary at best even on
the Fourth of July, dutifully drab

dour in passing unless you happen to
know (embossed near the bottom of the door)
this faithful public servant and I were
born the same year to acclaim of a kind.

Each sizes up the other nights like this.
He stands a little taller, manages
a wry smirk while I pretend not to have
noticed the rust choked hinges and key slot

grateful for darkness, nodding politely
humming a tuneless something in passing
the bright lights of busy Main Street ahead
a place of reprieve when viewed from above.

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