Lost in the Mail

The taste of glue on stamps

Made me mad. And the shuffling,

Bewildering sound of the envelopes sorter

Machine rattled, shifted through my sleep

Until I was not happy anymore.

I was moved to delivering mail.

Every day I gathered the ponderous bags

Of loveletters, thank-you notes, and paychecks.

The boxy truck whirred and I

Was off stuffing boxes with mail.

I love to get mail: notes,

Cards, magazines. But I get bills.

Never scented sheets in purple ink,

Or crisp light-green checks: all bills.

I could not take it anymore.

I was changed into a cashier.

I liked the sound of money.

Dropped coins clinking on the counter,

And rumpled bills unfolding, sounded in

My dreams. I was the king

In his counting room rubbing the

Coins, spinning them on the counter.

My boss got mad. He didn’t

Like me. Told me to stop.

His voice whined like a stuck

Envelope sorter machine. And I laughed.

Then he growled and fired me.

I wandered home alone and opened

My mail: advertisements, sweepstakes, and bills.

All I ever get our bills!

I ran to my tool shed,

Snapped open the lock, took out

My gun, listened to the clicking

Of the clip, trigger, and scope.

I wanted to stop his voice

And machines and take the money.

He was their whining and pointing.

I kick the door and pointed

My rifle at him. The screaming

Founded so funny. People dropped down

And his neck splintered, his throat

And vocal cords torn and gurgling.

I screamed with laughter, hug tight

My gun and forgot the money.

I listened to the chiming people

Shout and rush to hold me,

I felt their hands grasp me

Like money, like an unexpected loveletter.

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© 1990 - Scott Lawrence Lawson