WATING GAME

We pull in to the parking lot where
our mailboxes are arrayed like
so many graves at Arlington, or more
like the drawers in a low cost mausoleum.

This is the new Postal Service, sharing
the burden of the need to cut costs
even at the expense of services.

Standing nearby are two Sandhill
Cranes watching the postal worker
carefully unload the trays of mail
and buckets of packages, soon to be
slotted and eventually carried away.

The birds stare at us, knowing it seems
that they are protected, and we need
to walk and drive around them, for they
have no intention of yielding ground to us,
certain they were here first and they say
they tolerate us only barely, and if we
doubt that, they will explain
in pointed detail with their beaks.

We walk around them and wonder how
they would hope to open the metal box
where any mail they might receive
will soon enough be deposited.

APART-IAL EXPLANATION

It is all to often debated
what sets humans apart
the other species, and that
will not be agreed any time soon
(which a cynic would note
is one such thing itself).

Freud would claim it is only
our ego, our sense of self,
which may explain why people
are so capable of being self-
ish, and I suspect he was
certain he was wholly correct
but I would give him only partial credit.

It is far simpler than that: record
your voice, record a Sandhill
crane and play them back
and I assure you that you
will say you sound nothing
like what the recorder heard
while the crane will nervously
look all around for his unseen kin.