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February 11, 2012 / austreberto

gentlemen and scholars working at the post office

gentlemen and scholars working at the post office


he seemed so heavy

been there for as long as he could remember

as long as i could remember


picked up each of my letters

each must have been as heavy as he was

struggled with the last one

lost count how many times he had done this before


at least eighty four today

wasn’t even noon yet


became an expert at weighing things over the years

no longer needed the electronic scale

he’d been there that long to know within an ounce or two


probably made up stories

when people needed to mail large boxes

just to pass the time


boxes those size usually came with faces as heavy as he was


but he looked at my four envelopes

and then at me

not used to a stranger smiling

though he kept his face straight

how he always looked

probably how he’d look for the rest of his life


glanced at the addresses

(board of education)

asked me what i taught


and he followed up with a comment that i didn’t expect

but appreciated

with his face still straight

he said


try to convey to the youngsters

the power of the written word

it is more powerful than the spoken


i smiled

told him i would

and he told me to have a nice day


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