The way things were
I adore the postmaster’s wife, her bold, old-fashioned ways
when she licks self-sticking stamps and sends ardent letters
to towns she’s unlikely to know, countries she’s hardly imagined.
She could run my post through the franking machine –
but loves choosing stamps, lingers over
blue cranes and flowers, a president’s head
then crams right-hand corners with colour
on letters priced by size, not weight or content.
She insists on choosing first issues
more worthy of her love
something to catch a stranger’s eye
something to remember her by: protea, meerkat or butterfly
she offers... reading my mind furtively.
And the flicker of light when sorting the incoming bag
bills, bank statements, the odd Christmas or birthday card
with wit coerced not implied – the postcard or aerogramme
do people still give a damn about magazine subscriptions?
I’ll answer promptly tomorrow, there’s little else I can do
with so many letters – perhaps cover them too
with vistas and kisses to friends I once knew
who come back to haunt my sad missives to you
my love, my adored, sweet postmaster’s wife.
Comments about this poem (The way things were by Julian De Wette )
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