You couldn't have known the brochure you placed in my
would cause me pain. It's so light and friendly: a
a call from Grupp's Christmas Trees to drive north to
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
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.
but still a stubborn stump grows out of my mailbox.
Does not live at this address. And 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.