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C.N.P Poetry 

  • Writer's pictureCathexis Northwest Press

The Price of Ignorance; Mailbox

By: Fran Abrams

The Price of Ignorance

is paid in a currency of nots. Paid with lives of people who chose not to wear seat belts, decided not to get vaccinated, thought smoking was not harmful. People who did not lock guns away, who drank until their livers did not work, who drove as if speed limits were not needed. People who did not appreciate that the same hearts beat in all our chests when they fired a weapon into someone else’s.


Evergreens mark the corner of our lot.

Three bushes planted just before we moved in

now intertwined into one unkempt prickly form.

Gray driveway defines the property line

and gives access to the neighbor’s house.

Where his driveway meets the street,

bright blue mailbox sits on top of brick column.

Swale separates evergreens from street,

delineating the public right-of-way.

Wide round pipe disappears under the driveway

to carry away rainwater. Grass

is green today, responding to soaking rains.

Spring will go out like a lamb in late March

and evergreens will show new spurts of green

at the tips of branches like a woman showing off nail polish.

When rains pass, gray pavement will bounce sun

like reflections from shiny new boots.

Owner of blue mailbox will add another coat

of paint as he does each Spring, as if by doing so,

only good news will be delivered.


Fran Abrams has had her poems published online and in print in Cathexis-Northwest Press, The American Journal of Poetry, The Raven’s Perch, Gargoyle 74, and others. Her poems appear in nine anthologies, including This is What America Looks Like from Washington Writers Publishing House (WWPH). She won the WWPH Winter Poetry Prize in December 2021. Her first chapbook, titled “The Poet Who Loves Pythagoras,” is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. Please visit


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