Ungainly, awkward, overloaded
I see the piteous glances directed my way
Those who have finished their tour of duty, leaving
Sadly looking at me, on my way in
As I am carrying two cardboard boxes so huge
I cannot really see where I am going.

I know where I am
The Post Office, on the Monday before Christmas.

Every year, it is exactly the same
I cannot seem to shop and wrap any earlier
To avoid
The Post Office, on the Monday before Christmas
I suck it up
And try not to fall down

Aghast I am
When upon reaching the doors to the facility
I see
That there is not only one line threading through the lobby
And out the door



After some heavy sighs and the rolling of eyes
I inquire at those overburdened prats like me, in front of me
Which line I should participate in
And am directed to
The Line Where You Are Sending More Than One Thing.

I set my boxes on the floor and kick them when the line moves forward
But it takes a very long time to move forward
And I try not to kick the boxes so hard that they
Disengage from the Post Office, on the Monday before Christmas
Through a large plate glass window.

How lucky I am!
A mother with three children under three years old
Gets in line behind me
The oldest asks his mother how long it will take
About 20 times.
The baby blows snot bubbles.
The toddler runs away
The mother runs after the toddler, holding the Snot Baby
And Little Questioner looks at me, and I shrug.

A woman about mid-way up in the line bolts
Holding a brown-paper-wrapped rectangle
That is surely a Most Interesting Book She Thought You Would Like
And she mutters, "It's not worth it,"
Well, duh, Ma'am, duh.

Eventually, I am served
Me and my large packages.
"Do you want to guarantee Christmas Delivery and select Express Mail?"
I look at my large packages
And purse my lips
Successfully restricting my mouth from saying, "HELL, NO"
And politely ask if the packages may be sent Priority Mail
At the Post Office, on the Monday before Christmas.

Be gone, packages, be gone!
They are both loaded on the top of an already-overloaded postal cart
Good luck with that, I think
And try not to think about anything that may be glass inside.

My speed leaving the Post Office, on the Monday before Christmas
Is considerably faster
Having been relieved of my burden
And $55.74
And when I see a couple
Warily approaching the doors, I say
"Go To The Line For Shipping Only One Item"
They nod, grimly
And I clap my hands as I reach my car, and leave.