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Thursday, June 11, 2020


by Marilyn Peretti

A boxy white truck with the blue eagle
pulls up to the curb, the postal vehicle
I observe most days.

Today I’m absorbed in tv, at the same time
view the driver through my window—
her pale blue clerk’s shirt, a billed cap,
and the blue-gray summer shorts
showing her shiny brown legs
through the open door.

Fleetingly I wonder what mail she’ll
bring me. But back to the Houston
funeral of George Floyd, victim
of city police brutality.

The choir, distancing themselves
due to the pandemic, the speakers,
the pastors lowering their safety masks.
The organ, the hymns, the brothers.

Then Rev. Al Sharpton, “‘I can’t breathe’
he said, and was choked for 8 minutes,
46 seconds — Breath is how God gives
you life, it is sanctified, it is sacred.”

She’s still sitting in the truck
looking down intently at her device
it seems. I watch the congregants,
hear sad and glorious words, lifting
George up, praising his honesty,
his leadership, his faith.

After 15 minutes she climbs out
of the truck, opens the rear door,
lifts the mail tub out for our building,
interrupting her concentration—
she our civil servant, an essential worker,
experiencing this near-personal funeral
on the job.

More songs, more lifting up of George.
She returns to the truck, empty tub
over her head, protection from the
sudden June downpour.

In her seat again, she stares at the device,
mourning in the postal truck. After
some time, I see the red brake light
come on, and she pulls away.

Marilyn Peretti of Glen Ellyn, IL, does too much thinking. And probably feeling. She has been published many times before at TheNewVerse.News.