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We've Got Mail
Susan T. Moss

My parents moved in with me.
They arrived soon after the memorial
service and the family house sold.
Forwarded magazines, store flyers
and catalogs permanently acquired
my address with their names.
This daily dross pursues those
who have transcended worldly things —
hearing aids and playing golf with the
spry well-coifed in an opulent retirement
paradise and otherworldly — a tasteful
tri-fold promoting cremains buried at sea
or a stylish mausoleum rising above
rolling lawns under a perpetual sun
shining over my loved ones and me.
I’ve gotten used to the three of us here
in my small apartment. I added another
can for wastepaper and allow extra time
to read or rip what isn’t mine. There’s something
comforting when I’m reminded that Mom
and Dad, only a stamp away, haven’t really left.
They show up most days about two-o’clock
when I decide what’s worth keeping
and what’s junk.
© by Susan T. Moss.
Used with the author’s permission.



Susan T. Moss lives in Evanston, Illinois. A former high school English teacher, she is the author of Keep Moving 'til the Music Stops (Lily Pool/Swamp Press) and her work has appeared in several journals and anthologies. Currently serving her second term as president of the Illinois State Poetry Society, Susan says friends and family members inspire and influence her poetry writing, while traveling to all seven continents, hiking Kilimanjaro, skydiving (once!) and attempting to finish her bucket list of adventures often inform it.


Post New Comment:
I, too, love it. Was almost finished reading it before I realized what you were saying. Great use of internal rhyme.
Posted 01/19/2014 06:46 PM
Oh, Susan! I love this poem. It evokes perfectly what we all (at "our" age)have to figure--what to keep, what to junk. And you should see my garage since my in-laws passed...
Posted 01/19/2014 05:36 PM
Ross Kightly:
As evocative as the more common experience of sorting through old photographs discovered in an abandoned plastic carrier bag! What a great selection of details for the imagery: "... spry well-coiffed in an opulent retirement paradise..." Marvellous!
Posted 01/18/2014 03:39 AM
Wow! I had no idea you've been skydiving and that you've travelled so much. You have a wealth to write about, Susan.
Posted 01/17/2014 03:01 PM
You've captured it so well Susan. Going through much the same thing.
Posted 01/17/2014 01:06 PM
Going through the same thing myself.
Posted 01/17/2014 12:13 PM
wendy morton:
Because the dead never really leave, as Susan tells us. Wonderful images.
Posted 01/17/2014 10:18 AM
Wilda Morris:
You do a wonderful job of using poetry to deal with the bittersweet realities of losing our parents. An excellent slice-of-life poem, Susan.
Posted 01/17/2014 09:32 AM
Enjoyed reading this so much! I had been through this, and still get the occasional piece of mail.
Posted 01/17/2014 08:50 AM
Such a gently humorous, yet touching poem. Thanks!
Posted 01/17/2014 07:13 AM
sadly true...but good poem!
Posted 01/17/2014 06:56 AM
Touching poem. Thank you.
Posted 01/17/2014 06:47 AM
Donna Pflueger:
Your poem caught me off guard in a good way! It is refreshing to be surprised. Well done! My trip to the mail box will be a much different experience from now on and it needed to be because that mail just keeps on coming. Thank you
Posted 01/17/2014 06:25 AM
Donal Mahoney:
This is a very well written poem that captures a slice of life not as sweet as some others. But it deals with reality. And there is, alas, more to reality than watching butterflies in summer flitting about and trying to decide which flower to land on. Thanks to Jayne for publishing it.
Posted 01/17/2014 05:54 AM

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