Woman at the Post Office
An old woman’s trouble in deciding
is holding up the line.
Another crowd, another time,
a loudmouth might complain,
but here in mid-morning, the retired,
mothers, students, all stand quiet.
Her jaw slowly slackening,
insistence draining from her face.
Finally, she lifts her finger
or merely a flicker?—
and the clerk says,
that’ll be seven-fifty.
stop holding our breath.
She reaches into her bag, that reflex
intact, and no wonder, considering
how a woman’s life is comprised
of procurement. The clerk
hands back her change.
Still, she hesitates.
Who can relax, knowing
there could be something else
she’d meant to say or to send?
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