He does his job… gets done his role… another dollar is his goal.
And with the horn, to home a stroll (an envelope awaits there).
A step or two, but could be more, he stops at sight upon the door.
The cold upon his bones does pour. Another step, he won’t dare.
His thoughts upon the box for post, his eyes blink not… but do stare.
The envelope just sits there.

With heaviness, closes the gap, with squinted eyes as if a trap.
The postal box on him might snap and bite him like a black bear!
The flutter of his heart within, much faster than it’s ever been.
His head feels light and starts to spin. He stumbles in the night air.
He must have knocked his head quite hard as on the stoop he lay there.
Under his ear, some footwear.

Awake does he now late at night… A neighbor man, “Are you alright?”
“You gave my dear old mom a fright.” (That’s something that they both share)
“You must have slipped on something wet.” “Can you repeat the alphabet?”
“Remember from today’s Gazette?” and sits him in an armchair.
A spot of blood there on his brow that leaks beneath his white hair.
And yet his mind is elsewhere.

His thoughts go back to ’51… the air too cold to hold a gun,
yet hold he did, as everyone who may be faced with warfare.
Of course, in war, there’s much bloodshed. For ‘god and country’ had he bled.
And still he didn’t have this dread… and never once this despair!
A lonely man against the tanks. Of this he is quite aware.
“Oh, how this life… it’s unfair!”

He thanks the man and goes inside. “Yes. I’m okay.” (but knows he lied).
The lights stay off so he can hide from others and this nightmare.
Today’s Gazette was plain to see. A story on the factory.
He wipes the dirt from off his knee, the part where it is threadbare.
Where did he put that sewing kit? His trousers they need repair.
“It’s got to be here somewhere.”

“Globalization seems absurd! Why send my job to China’s herd?
What of the shipping costs incurred? Oh, can it really compare?”
It seems the factory may close. Economy, you see, it slows.
The profit margin hit new lows. Two years ago, cut healthcare.
A massacre of all his hopes. He stands alone… solitaire.
This his Tiananmen Square.

He may have beat them once before, the time when he was in the Corps.,
but he can’t beat them anymore. And he’s too proud for welfare.
Afraid the contents might be pink, he sits upon his chair to think
and wishes he could have a drink. His cupboard though, it is bare.
Now late at night he’s on his knees with eyes to God in some prayer.
The envelope just sits there.


Joseph Quintanilla is a 46-year-old property manager living in the U.S. Territory of Guam.

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