Poetry Drawer: At The Post Office by Robert Demaree

Putting in the mail
A copy of my new collection:
The clerk asks about
Liquids, perishables…
Liquid—no, I tell him;
Perishable is another matter,
Words and pages.
To be sure, it has a
Library of Congress barcode,
So I suppose you could
Present yourself in Washington someplace
And be led to the right shelf.
Or I may be imaging that.
Poets do not set out to be famous,
Insights and images stuffed
Into the backs of drawers.
I think of 19th century composers,
Famous at the time,
Their works no longer performed,

We have saved copies
For our grandchildren, which
Their grandchildren may find
In a box somewhere,
Unless someone’s wife has hauled them
To the church book fair,
In which case they will
Take their chances, like
That single manuscript of Lucretius,
But will know better than to count
On a particular monk.

Robert Demaree is the author of four book-length collections of poems, including Other Ladders, published in 2017 by Beech River Books. His poems have received first place in competitions sponsored by the Poetry Society of New Hampshire and the Burlington Writers Club. He is a retired school administrator with ties to North Carolina, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. Bob’s poems have appeared in over 150 periodicals including Cold Mountain Review and Louisville Review.

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