Getting Mail

An envelope fluttered into my mailbox yesterday.

When I was a kid, getting post was one of the most exciting things ever. That sense of wonder and anticipation fizzing when you saw your own name on the front of the envelope. Inside was always something worth the fizz – if it wasn’t birthday or Christmas gifts, it would be a party invitation, or a letter from my Nanna, or a notice from the local bookshop that the Laura Ingalls Wilder book I’d ordered a few weeks ago had arrived in store.

As an adult, of course, it’s far less exciting. Adults get those brown envelopes with windows, that never usually involve money siphoning out of their bank accounts.

But yesterday’s envelope was white. My name and address were hand-written. It had a proper stamp, not a printed frank. All reliable signs that the contents would be more akin to those letters of childhood.

Sure enough, the contents didn’t disappoint.

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A couple of months back, I submitted a poem to a fine line, for the Spring issue, Masks, and it was accepted. a fine line, the New Zealand Poetry Society’s quarterly magazine, make a small payment of $20 book tokens to the poets they publish. And here was mine!

I still haven’t spent the one I got from my poem Crop Circles that was published in the Autumn issue. I’m looking forward to a trip to PaperPlus tomorrow, to browse the book section. Not sure what I’ll get yet. I’ve got the whole set of Laura Ingalls Wilder books now, all of them well-thumbed from many repeat readings over the years. But there are a couple of Linda Olsson books I haven’t read yet, and… and… and…

I need to go browse the PaperPlus catalogue.

So I’ll leave you with poems – the poem I wrote for the masks theme, plus a bonus. The other week I wrote about National Poetry Day, and mentioned the event I was going to in the evening. Turns out my poem, in response to the set theme of ‘together’, came in second place. Hope you enjoy them both.

 

Stilettos and Lipstick

When I go to my sister’s wedding
I will dress myself in my best behaviour.
I will wrap up in a twin cling of primrose silk
and prim smiles, veil myself inside my skin.

I will take a wide-brimmed hat,
black, to shade my eyes. Pale yellow flowers
will flourish in the brim. I will glove my hands
and my tongue in pristine white.

I will stand straight in my polished black heels.
Even when she preens with gold and diamonds
and the husband she stole from me,
I will wear my shining lipsticked smile.

Sheathed in a padded vest beneath my dress,
I won’t fall on stiletto barbs she shawls
in a simper of all’s fair in love…

I will drink one flute of champagne.
In slow, occasional sips, to stop the bubbles
getting up my nose.
I will smile.
All day.

And when I get home,
I will shed my smile. I will strip to my skin
and step under hot rain in my shower,
to scrub away the sheen
of silk
and sister.


Baking with Nanna

I perch on a high stool in Nanna’s ribbon kitchen,
my red throne in her empire. She measures in palms
and carefree glances. Sugar and flour dunes rise
in a Pyrex ocean. Butter pebbles scattered on top stick
to fingertips like wet sand. There is no elbow room.
We rub shoulders crumbling ingredients together
and she whispers a secret – she never uses that jug
my mother bought her, with its red ladder of metric.
Nanna’s jug is blue, polished stoneware, milk etched
in white script. She fills it to a pint, and lets me pour.


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21 thoughts on “Getting Mail

  1. I really liked this. It brought me back to the time when I was little and I used to love getting letters in the mail. And like you, they would often contain money! It made me think of my Nana who used to send me things and so when I got to your poem I was surprised. I sure miss her. And I miss some of those simple pleasures of life. Thanks for writing this! And congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations to you and your poetry being published. That’s really an awesome feeling when you reached that goal as a poet. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congrats on getting published! Also, I love the wedding poem. You’ve done an amazing job of bringing so much emotion and empathy into the poem. You can really picture this woman struggling through her sister’s wedding day and feel for her.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congratulations on having your poetry published. Sharing your poems with others is so exciting. Thank you for being an inspiration to all the poets who are working on being published.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I. Love. Your. Poetry!

    You are so inspiring as a writer and your poetry is amazing. The themes are so succinct and your choice of every single word is perfectly placed.

    Congratulations on your poems being published! I’m still struggling to get acceptance in a literary magazine but am always inspired by successful writers like yourself!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I always enjoy your writing style, Trish! Your poem being published is incredibly exciting! The first half of your post sent me on a trip down memory lane, in receiving mail. I received a “save the date” card from a friend about her upcoming wedding the other day, and I felt that same excitement. It wasn’t a bill or an advertisement. It was real mail, from someone I knew. I don’t even get excited about Amazon packages anymore. But real mail is a whole other experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Erica. How lovely, your save the date card., Real mail is so exciting and that’s a lovely tghing to look forward to.

      Like

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