ONE POEM – Clare Starling

Photo by Kevin Goodrich on Unsplash


I haven’t been to that Post Office for years
and when I go in
(a huge dirty snowball, rotten leaves caked to me)
It is the same couple
where the man snaps at the customers
and the queue cringes, waiting their turn
and the woman is impatient and speaks so fast
that she always has to explain twice
the two of them still there, behind glass
and here I am, unsure of my value
crushing myself through the doors 
ice and dirt crumbling from me
leaving meltwater on the mat
and I wait, wondering if I will get 
the man or the woman 
and I’m taking up space
and other people back away from my chill
and I ask, how much will it cost to mail me?
and they don’t want to mail me 
and the man says you are too big and wet and dirty
and the woman says something too fast for me to understand
and then she says to get on the large scale
and I roll onto it and I purchase the 
largest packing box, dusty, from the very back of the display
and the woman prints out the sticker stamp
and I cram myself into the box
and the man shoves the whole thing into the corner
lid on, I wait, in the dark, until
I am wrenched, jounced, manhandled, transported, flung
scanned, separated, dragged
at last the slip, slip, of being carried by 
someone small and wiry, curved spine used to the miles
of houses, stop and start like the drips of slush
and I know where I am 
my mother opens the door
I am there, so tiny, clean and small
she lifts me up in her two hands

Clare Starling started writing poetry when her ten-year-old son was diagnosed with autism.
She particularly loves writing about the importance of our connection with nature, and
about how neurodiversity can give different perspectives on the world.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Thanks for sharing this idea. Beautiful poem. Anita


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