The Letter

Round the corner, embedded in a wall
is a small red box
with gold initials,
a slot oblong and dark.

It ticks quietly
that square thing 
inking its words
as if knowing
bruises can inflict the skin.

It tock-tock-tocks
dreaming but insistent
carrying loads 
than pen strokes weigh.

Many hands will mould it
squeeze, chuck, fold it
in and out of postholes, sacks,
exposed to trains and vans, 
bad air, bad hands
until it drops: plop
onto your stone-chequered hall
a bomb potential
in your day 
flat, neat, ticking quietly.

Country silence breathes
in the roses round the door.
It reposes on cold stone
patient and sensing tree-kin near -
sway and sway the heart 
a former life's
quiet brooding rings.

Now no liquid stirs its veins
rolled flat as paper
dry and unblemished 
except for its message 
mood-blue strokes
neat lines.

The unwary hand will bend
a smile flicker, tail-end of a thought
one tick-tock 
bomb goes off.

At this end 
intended design
no remorse.
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