Postcard, with notes on local customs

It rained, despite the forecast. As if,
once again, we could ever get a grip

on things beyond our influence. But listen,
yesterday I learned about “The Speaking

Tradition.” That is to say, a lesson
in civility: whether or not you know me

or are my friend, passing me on the green
you’ll greet me with a smile and look into

my eyes. Hello, said the woman
by the coffee shop. Waiting for the light

to change, I heard a schoolboy hail me
from across the street: Hello, how’s

your day going so far? and I like
your backpack!
I don’t know how

to feel about all the cheerfulness sometimes.
Even the horses here are polite, seemingly

politic: they’re trussed in diapers to keep
the air ammonia-free, the streets unmarred

by road apples. I haven’t yet overheard
an argument, a burst of temper, desperate

cello moans issuing from someone’s throat.
Each day the light grows fine as porcelain

and airy, owing to spring. What’s it like when
it’s cold and every hill is lettered in ice?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.