Christina A. Sharik

MY MAILBOX AND ME

Christina – 1969
Christina – 1969
In 1965, I mailed the first
Of what seemed to me to be
1,000 cards and letters,
though mine were not marked “Free”.

Mine were not marked “Fly It”
All of mine were paid for,
Stamped with love and loneliness
While you were at war.

Mine contained some photographs,
And poems that I wrote,
Cartoons cut from newspapers
And each contained the hope

That you were doing well
Although so far away ~
It seems to me, in looking back,
I mailed something every day.

That old mailbox and I
Became great pals, you see
I visited each and every day;
It was always there for me.

Sometimes I said nothing
In those pages that I sent
(each letter spritzed with perfume,
because you liked the scent.)

Other letters held big news
Of family, friends and home;
Some were short, and some were long
Sometimes, I felt alone.

I’ve got pictures that my brother took
Putting letters in the slot ~
I sent more cards and letters
Than I ever got;

That’s the way it always is
I really didn’t mind ~
That’s the way it’s always been
For the one who’s left behind.

And your letters?
I traced each blue-penned word
With a gentle hand
And imagined I could
reach right out
And touch you in that land.

I put them beneath my pillow
I slept with them at night;
On the days that letters came
The day was very bright.

That old blue mailbox
Became my dearest friend
It was my one and only link with you
Until the very end…

Pen pals and a husband
Boarded planes for Vietnam;
Now, my son has sent “Free” letters
And I’m an ArmyMom.

This poem inspired the response, “APO San Francisco 96250” – ©Copyright September 21, 2007 by Terry D. Sutherland