Fill blebs with fine black ballpoint
—judicial hopefuls, port commissioners,
gun control, preschool, bus routes—
seal and sign and stamp
and walk through misty grey
to mailbox. My favorite method, punching
through stiff card with sharp pin,
more American than this new scrunching,
solitary, at desk with pen, later,
with silent dog—interested only in the scent
of mailbox legs—pulling wide metal maw
of blue, dropping my choices
into credit payment and birthday wish obscurity.
How did it get there, grey car smashed
into fence? All is quiet on walking past—
air bags limp and grey at steering wheel
and over glove compartment. No slumped
or battered persons, only a silent empty car
pointing, like a tourist, to face city skyline.
I search for black brake skids. The road
is wet, unmarked. Fence leans
a little further toward view and cliff.
Humpback heading north,
seeable from a city neighborhood,
if you know where to look
and how to tell her grey from the bay.
She is alone, swimming our cold water.
Has she left her pod or is she joining it?
We don’t know if she is late or early, only
that she swims by herself today.
Pamela Hobart Carter loves Seattle as much for its water and mountains as for its bustle and creativity. She explores the Emerald City daily while walking her dog. Carter used to be a teacher who wrote on the side. Now she is a writer who teaches on the side.