The First of the Month

In the Post Office I see her.
That’s her pooch outside, yapping,
carefully tethered by red leather leash
to wrought iron fence.

She’s pressing a stamp to a magic carpet.
Pressing white into pink of nail.
She haloes the stamp
with an earnest smudge.
Lips form words again and again:
she checks the address; she won’t do this wrong.
She mails it to adults
whom she’s never met,
addressees who couldn’t ever understand.

It glides down the shoot.
She glides with it.
There will be enough time
before no reply comes
to believe.

The postal clerk, wry, a benign drug dealer,
smiles indulgently
through unshaven cheeks
as she buys more stamps.

I see her in stacks of grade school libraries
fallen where she opened
books she has no business with.
Improperly exposed
women pained with ennui
one must never name
languish on the covers.

At a family reunion
of hearty good people
who could teach tool and die,
some smart aleck thing
pops out her mouth.
Food spews, laughs yip; there are gasps,
and everyone wonders.

Shoeless, whistling,
sun and white birches,
hikes all alone.

I could throttle her.
Why can’t she join up with the ball team,
suck up to teachers,
snag a boy…get knocked up…go on welfare?
If it weren’t for her,
I’d have a job—
admin assistant, maybe,
and would know where the rent check
will come from tomorrow.


© 2002 Danusha Veronica Goska

Danusha V. Goska, PhD, is an experienced teacher, an award-winning writer, and a published scholar. She can be reached at dgoska[at]yahoo[dot]com. Her web page is

For more of her work in TheScreamOnline, visit the Talent Index.