Postman


How long the day,
Delivering letters to friends,
And cranky, bald dog feeders. Home 
Is forward, past those poplars. 
Always I’ve been in love with
Their almond scent, just as I catch
Past, dragging feet and who knows
How many heartfelt "Thank-you's".
Home is... where the wife is sitting.
She's not keen on laundry, but, 
I’m an exception. 
Always are my blue shirts blue,
She likes to make sure. Just in case I meet
With him; that carrion shaker,
Mr. Reaper.
“Hello.” I'd say, and tip my cap,
Along my silent nightly rounds;
Perhaps he'd humour me, if he could 
See me. He's searching. For me? No.
That’s not right. 
The lamps are thickest
In the dark, and that's just how 
he likes it.
Even if I tip-toe, tip-toe, tip-toe around
Him, he'll still turn his hood toward me.
A courteous, creaking greeting.
That chill I get. 
Matches only the fear
From losing fingers, as I push envelopes,
Catalogues, and restless dreams
Through many metal slats.
But even I, can't quite see,
When the sky turns milky-grey...
That perching, questioning hand
Placed gently on my shoulder; 
Pushing down as I bend my back,
Kicking over milk-bottles, sometimes
accidentally. I shake it off. 
Get to bed! I say to myself, mostly
Always, to myself.
Slap on some cream
And
Get to bed.

© copyright Eve Redwater 2012

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23 thoughts on “Postman

  1. Seriously fantastic. Haven’t enjoyed reading a new poem that much in quite a while. I really felt echoes of The Hollow Men by Eliot with the line ‘Home is… where the wife is sitting’ – ‘For thine is…Life is’ Brilliant. Keep it up.

  2. Reading this, I was reminded of Billy Connolly’s sketch about his mother saying “You had better wear clean underwear, in case you get hit by a bus!” Similar sentiment I suppose. Very good work anyways.

  3. Much to admire in this poem here. Yet more to point, a pleasure in the action, reading this. Like treading through shallow waters, gentle splashing images, and how the point of view shifts, quietly, making a wonder of reading it. As one could walk down a path, not additive but rather new with each step… look, I never saw that before.

    Maybe the word kaleidoscope would apply. Nicely done.

    neil reid

  4. I would assume that I wasn’t supposed to find out ounce of comedy in this awesome poem but it’s too late. When you spoke of Mr. Reaper meeting with the postman, it made me smile. Not because I have a morbid sense of humor but because the American Postal Service is on the verge of destruction. Since we can’t afford to keep it running due to our debt, that part of the poem made me think. Sorry if that wasn’t the intended goal but isn’t it nice that 20 different people can draw 20 different things? Art, the ever changing medium. A very nice piece, thank you for sharing.

    • Hello Captain!

      Thank you for stopping by and leaving me a lovely comment! Your comment made me laugh, too. It’s 100% OK to think of it like that — that’s what makes it unique to you; and I for one, think that’s great. 🙂

  5. Great imagery: fantastic photo with its spidery light and delicate balances; wonderful poem, wherein a postman keeps the peace in himself while pondering less peaceful things. Perhaps he should be sorting Dead Letters. Or is there such a thing anymore?

    • Thank you for your comment Kathryn. 🙂 I like the idea of a postman sorting ‘Dead Letters’ – there’s something eternally creepy about post-workers of the bygone days.

  6. So this is how postmen get through their days…His internal dialogue wanders so naturally, and you really get a sense of his character. Is this deceptively light, Eve? Liked the humour, the creepy yet wispy feel.

  7. Eve, take this from a former postal carrier, this poem rocks. You’ve captured the stream of conscious ramblings of a letter carrier beautifully. I had to check your bio to find out if you are, in your “other life,” a postal worker.

    “Matches only the fear
    From losing fingers, as I push envelopes,
    Catalogues, and restless dreams
    Through many metal slats.”

    How did you know? It is so true, so real. And the hovering grim reaper is there, always just around the next corner. Not only as Captain Jacereed points out the impending death of the USPS, but also, the fact that the postman is often the first to know when the reaper has arrived. I was unlucky enough to stumble across (almost literally) two victims during my years on the street. A very provocative poem.

    • Hello Linda! Thank you so much for stopping by my blog, I’m so grateful for you comments! Thank you for liking this one, too. 🙂 I’m happy that I’ve managed to strike a chord here; but how terrible to have had to meet with those two, a sad reality…

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