Irene at the Post Office

So for many many many years I’ve been writing a novel about upstate New York. Some of you know that. It’s not easy for a thousand reasons that don’t have much to do with sentences. I want to capture what I love, and it’s THE PEOPLE and the chance to talk and listen and it’s often what they say. Yesterday I wondered if the whole novel could be done in the What They Said manner. (That’s probably even LESS commercial than my current notion of people and poems as evocation.) One of the recurring characters is IRENE, a postmistress. There aren’t many people in town and not many letters either. She is 84. She has lived a lot. We all listen.

You won’t believe this
Irene often began
and we knew we would
believe her always
you won’t believe this
she is one for restating
for emphasis
but last night I
went out for dinner and drinks
he offered to pay
but I said no you don’t
have to pay for me
I’m still working
we went to dinner at that
nice place on the road
to Albany all the way
over there and he said
let me come inside
when we got home
you won’t believe this
she told all of us
but what
do you think he wanted?
no way I said
this is date number one.
I’ve got my rules.
Three she said
three’s his lucky
number.

Esther Cohen
Let me tell you why I'm here, and why I hope you'll join me. I am here to poem, to play with words, to tell stories when I can, and to ask you for yours. Words are what I love, how I see, and what I say. Words are how I know my life, and how I find my friends. I'm here to ask you to join me. Right here. To send me your stories, and your poems. And to read mine when you can.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: