The Riddle

Fall 1986

The package arrives in the mail one morning,
addressed to you in a familiar hand.
Mailed years ago and forwarded many times,
it has been stamped Received in damaged condition
by the Post Office.

You contemplate the package but don’t open it.
The handwriting is familiar. And the double row
of oddly placed stamps, the dozen yards of twine—
wound round and round the box—
where only one is needed.

You contemplate the package but don’t open it.
You aren’t frightened. You are simply postponing
the pleasure of opening it.

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