Jeff Manning

A mailbox in winter


This poem is part of a series of poems made as part of an exercise where the reader chooses 5 words and writes a poem about them. They than exchange their 5 words with another author who has written 5 other poems, resulting in a total of 20 pieces.

The sun rises slowly over the trees as I take my first sips of coffee The world is quiet at this time of day and I have always enjoyed the peace. The start time may be early, and the job may be humble, but while most people may not realize it, I am a superhero to many.

I strap on my boots and pull a heavy coat on. While I might start my trip in my truck, I spend much of my time outdoors. People are funny this time of year. They shovel their walks and even their driveway but never consider me though I come every day.

The truck starts up with a protest. The biting cold wreaks havoc on its old diesel bones, but it has been reliable for years, and I’m not one to fix what’s not broken. I come from a time when people fixed things, as do many of the folks on my team.

I head to the plant and grab my first route “Morning, Bob” I say as sack upon sack gets loaded into the back. Though it may look like chaos, they all have their place, and every single piece will make it where it needs to go.

I head to the first subdivision 103 reflects off the sign on the front I grab the first letters a curious one on top. I look down the walkway and give a little sigh the occupants had shovelled the snow near to knee-high.

I make the long trek to the box hanging on the side, but before I can make it halfway a young girl bursts through the doorway, she greets me in the driveway and takes the letters from my hands, tearing into the first furious optimism.

Slowly her eyes widen and a smile dons her face she jumps up and down and shouts in joy and relief. “I got in!” she says triumphantly as the envelope marked Harvard falls gracefully to snow.

I reach out to retrieve it from the snow below, but she takes my gesture as kind and takes me in a strong embrace tears of joy stream down her face.

I can’t help but smile and embrace her in return. “Congratulations!” I say to her “I know you’ll do well”

A long moment passes, and she finally lets go shouts “Thank you thank you thank you” and races inside. I stand there for a moment, my cheek wet from her tears before I realize the other one is too.

Each day may be long, and the job mundane. But it’s in these moments I feel like a hero in every way but name.  






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