Thursday, July 23, 2015


Maude Millicent Rosevear, generally considered pleasant and quite the beauty,
sent her hopes off, by mail, in 1955.
Consider her surprise when they return to her in 2015. 

Maude, now aged seventy five,
nearly trips over the parcel while walking out of her door
on her way to the pharmacy for her numerous prescriptions.

"Non-standard surcharge," states one of the rubber stampings.
(That business with Alice, at college, in 1959?)
The postal system cares about her package. The plastic wrapping says so.
Nonetheless, they have returned it.

"Postage due", "Addressee Unknown", "Unclaimed" all on the side.
Bent, frail, living in a mother-in-law apartment attached to her son's house,
Maude supposes the return of her hopes was inevitable, 
but it didn't feel that way when she sent them. 

Maude goes back inside and sits down to compose a letter--
--an old fashioned paper letter--
to the Unabomber in prison. 

"Dear Teddy," she writes, "I finally understand."
Perhaps this one will get through, she thinks.
Perhaps he will even answer, and if he does, 
she must be sure to be the first one to the mailbox, and to not lose her key.

for Get Listed at Real Toads. I used "prison", "mail", "inevitable", and "system".

CBU--Cluster Box Unit, a freestanding outdoor multiple delivery receptacle for mail.

CBU-55--cluster bomb fuel air explosive. 


TexWisGirl said...

oh, maude's got her secrets!

Sweeper of Dreams said...

quite a twist! captivating from start to finish, lovely little narrative.

C.C. said...

There's a whole backstory here that would be fun to hear too, I bet ;-)

Mama Zen said...

That feeling that leads a lady to write to the unabomber and be the first one to the mailbox? I know it, but I've never heard it expressed in such a unique and utterly perfect way.

Sumana Roy said...

"--an old fashioned paper letter-- / to the Unabomber in prison." will definitely be loved by Teddy, who was so against modern technology...

Kerry O'Connor said...

I love your concept of mailing one's hopes when young and having them returned unopened in old age. Such a great metaphor.

hedgewitch said...

As Kerry says, a unique and very personal metaphor here that you work with great skill. The final feeling, there at that last line, is how we are failed by every system, and how somehow, we must understand (or produce) our own explosions of protest to maybe blast our way out. Hope must always be sent postage due, you make me feel.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Oh! My! God! I LOVE this so much. (Have you been spying on me? LOL.) I especially love "Dear Teddy, I finally understand". Cackling.

Outlawyer said...

You can't forget the little details in any thing, I guess! k.

Ella said...

Clever and I wanted more~ Poor Maude-she sounds like quite a broad.

Gail said...

Maude sounds like my kind of gal!

grapeling said...

I'm sitting where it's hot, and this gave me chills, Shay. Thanks for playing ~

Cloudia said...

Not simplistic....full of woof and warp