The List at the P.O.

I am at the Post Office
with my little package, a book
I am sending to a friend.

The postal clerk begins her chant:
Do you have any flammable materials,
any toxic chemicals, any weapons,
any lithium batteries, any communicable diseases,
any unresolved disputes with your neighbor,
any lies you have told your partner,
any library books unreturned,
any coins in your pockets, or any regrets?

Yes, I say, I do have some regrets.
And she freezes, her stamp in mid-air.

I regret not listening to my friends who
told me not to jump off the roof. I regret
bailing out of art class on the second day.
I regret going out with Linda and not
dating Jennifer. I regret buying that Ford.
I regret not saying anything when they
told their jokes, not marching
when they killed my neighbor, not voting
when I had the chance, not believing we
could make a difference, not knowing
how good we had it until it was gone.

Friend, I regret to say I cannot send the book.
Regulations will not permit it, given that
I will not retract my regrets. Friend, I await
your reply without regret. 

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