Holdingford Post Office, 9 a.m.
An old man enters the St. Joseph Post Office;
the town’s widows chatting in the lobby
after morning Mass fall into a mutual silence,
then resume their gossip when he leaves,
a couple white envelopes and some fliers
clutched in his arthritic hand.
They all know his wife, waiting in the car,
fixing her hair in the rear-view mirror,
seemingly not noticing them chatting in the lobby.
She shuffles through the mail
as her husband checks his mirrors for cars,
before diving off to more errands.
The widows keep chatting
but they all watch the car turn the corner,
shaking their heads as they talk
before going home, catalogs and magazines in hand,
if lucky, a letter or card from a grandchild
that puts a smile on a widow’s face
that lasts the day long,
along with certain bragging rights, for a day, anyway,
among the other grandmothers,
before they all return to spotless houses
to re-read the day’s mail at the kitchen table.