Elise Hempel: "Today's Mail"




Just the crisp gleam

of a June-bug's carapace

I pulled from the bottom

of my near-empty box


that's usually stuffed with

credit-card bills and catalogs,

but today just this olive-

brown gem, six black legs


frozen in final flight

or climb, wings like church-doors

arched and perfectly shut,

this little weightless messenger


telling me today I owe

nothing, I'm fine as is,

this post-card from the wind, no

return address.



Elise Hempel has had poetry appear in Able Muse, Measure, Spoon River Poetry Review, and Tar River Poetry.