The 2River View

Carolyn Foster Segal

The Island Postmaster’s Daughter

believed, when she was small,
that all the mail
in her father’s bag
belonged to her;
each night as she grew
she dreamed
of the next day’s letter,
the one that would ferry
her away from the world she knew,
the little truck that ran in its circle,
the little room for sorting,
those tiny windowed boxes.
Oh, even the stamp would be
lovely, if only she
had the right key to
claim what was
surely hers.

Vanishing Point

5 miles south
on Rt. 3, a wooden bridge by
Peter’s Pond, and then
you’re on Paradise Road,
the sun going in and out. There’s
a yard sale today — old
teacups and linens and framed
photographs — one with a girl
who might be your grandmother,
posed with a globe, her left hand
spanning the distance from Cork to
here. How many hours of
kitchen work went into the white
dress, the sitting fee, the packages
sent back home? Now she gazes
into the middle distance of
paradise. If she were to
speak, you know what she
would say (this is what
you’ve saved). She’d tell you
about the hawthorns outside
her cousins’ house, the hawthorns
in their beautiful rows.

Carolyn Foster Segal teaches American literature, creative writing, and film at Cedar Crest College in Allentown, Pennsylvania. She has work forthcoming in the anthology Visting Dr. Williams: Poems Inspired by the Life and Work of William Carlos Williams (University of Iowa Press). contact