About the poet
Greta Stoddart was born in Henley-on-Thames, and grew up in Oxford and Belgium. She studied...
See that postbox on the hill? It strikes an almost
tragic pose up there where the four roads meet.
In wind and driving rain, in snow and blistered heat
it stands alone like an old messenger, cursed, struck;
dumb and trusted treasurer of this town’s tendered notes,
its severances and dried tears, its good luck.
Dusk. A thin rain. A child with a letter skips
slowly to the box, reaches up, then hesitates
- so a simple act, freeze-framed, hinges at fate -
eyeing her mother's shaky hand, the indifferent Queen
about to slide forever into the black lip.
The lamps stutter on, the street is lit like a scene.
She is not to know what lay in her hands, what power
if any, she had before she heard the paper’s soft
drop that filled her with a sense of loss
as she turned for home, not knowing the reason why,
leaving the letter to its few innocent hours,
nestled among the others, unpilfered, warm and dry.
from At Home in the Dark (Anvil, 2001), © Greta Stoddart 2001, used by permission of the author and the publishers
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