Dear Postman 

You couldn't have known the brochure you placed in my
     mailbox today
would cause me pain. It's so light and friendly: a
     snow-covered barn,
a call from Grupp's Christmas Trees to drive north to
     Harmony and
harvest a real Christmas tree, which it tells me can be a
     lot of fun, especially
if you bring your family along to help. It's good to know
     I can choose a Fraser Fir,
Scotch Pine, Blue Spruc (they forgot the 'e'), or
     Canaan Fir
But they addressed it to Emily McCall and Family, a
     person that died
in the Social Security office last February when I filled
     out a form,
and a family that never existed, except in the place I
     would let myself wander
at night, his arm draped over mine.  They tell me, 
Cut your tree as close to the ground as possible.
     I tried, 
but still a stubborn stump grows out of my mailbox.
Does not live at this addressAnd as for those trees,
     let them burn.

-- Emily Mohn


Emily Mohn lives in Regent Square and works at Carnegie Mellon. She has been published in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and in the forthcoming volume of Voices from the Attic. Many writers featured in Chapter & Verse are guests of Prosody, produced by Jan Beatty and Ellen Wadey. Prosody airs every Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. on independent radio, WYEP 91.3 FM.


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