by Sakutaro Hagiwara
The post office is, like harbors and parking lots, a sad nostalgic place which touches off feelings of life's long journey. The clerks there rubber-stamp away about their business, while people coming in crowd the windows. A bevy of poor factory girls, their savings books in hand, line up at the window, shoving and nudging. There are those enclosing money-orders and others who must wire their grief to places far removed.
Oh strange post office, cheerless place! May you always be buzzing, and be red-taping, and be packed full of customers. I love to be there where you are, do my letter-writing and to observe life's nostalgia. An old, rustic woman pestered someone next to her to get her to write something she'll dictate for her. A note to the daughter back at the farm that a parcel of autumn awase and juban clothing were forthcoming.
Oh, post office! How it pleases me to spot these nostalgic things. Say there, miss, in the corner, writing home, laden down with worldly woes. Your pencil lead has broken off, and your crabbed handwriting is a tear-stained mess. What could it be that torments you so, you who are still in your youth. The rest of us too, must put on our worn-out shoes of desperation, wandering the ports of life. Forever and ever, our souls are bereft of housing and are freezing cold.
The post office is, like harbors and parking lots, a sad familiar place which touches off feelings of life's long journey; the soul's everlasting nostalgia.
Last updated January 14, 2019