Sunday Things: Bone Deep


I slammed the tip of my right middle finger in the pinching hinge of a mailbox door. The mailbox was in the second suite of a wall of mailboxes that open out to reveal cubby holes for each mailbox front. The door comprised of many mailbox fronts required that I lift it and push it forcefully closed before I could lock it.

I sliced the tip of my finger and into the nail bed with the metal edge of the closing door’s hinge. I am happy to report no broken bones AND I even still have my finger tip! But it hurt like the dickens, looked horror-movie scary and necessitated a visit to the doctor. The doctor had x-rays taken and instructed me to take 3 days off work to recuperate the ravaged end of my finger.

She also, Dr. Susan Lord Mark (I like her name ๐Ÿ™‚ ), insisted I have a
tetanus shot and blasphemed against my beloved Neosporin (I swear by that stuff!) calling it of “questionable utility”. I told her I liked her sass and that I would not forget her wording as I am a writer and her neatly worded slur against my Neosporin appealed to me. ๐Ÿ˜‰

But this post is not really about the injury I took to my finger or the delight I find in everyday encounters with individuals who word things appealingly.

This post is about my hands.

We all have favorite features — the ones about ourselves that please us aesthetically. I do and you do too. Maybe its your crooked smile, your eyes that seem to carry their own light and beam it out into the world, the exact shade of your hair (a mix of honey and sunshine), or the kink of it and its black beauty, the way it undulates like dark waves crashing against the shore of your neck, the arch of your feet, the freckles sprinkled like cinnamon over the toast of your body or your nose that is big and you like it that way.

We all do and we also have the not-so-favorite features. My hands are that under-appreciated and aesthetically-looked-askance-at feature for me. I’ve never loved the look of them. I’ve never thought they were pretty, much less beautiful.

So imagine my shock in seeing an elegance un-looked for, a beauty unexpected in the bones of my hand. I was so enchanted with the way my bones looked in the x-rays that I asked the technician to print me out a copy — which she could not do. She could, however, burn it to a disc!

This post is also about a way of seeing things.

I finally think my hands are beautiful — in their bones. My bones spoke to me of hidden things and underlying beauty and made me wish I could always see so clearly — beneath the surface and to the bone.

Still Life: Door in Winter


Sometimes it’s hard to disturb things,
to change the staus quo.
A still life can be beautiful in its pristine
But even the quietest door
that hasn’t been opened in the longest time
has new vines creeping across its letter slot,
has freshly fallen beauty at its feet,
has light playing across its windows
like the fingers of a goddess strumming
the strings of a harp made of rainbows and glass.
And me? I am the one who really can’t help herself,
even if it wasn’t her job,
breaking a path through the snow,
knocking on every door I come across
and leaving missives
in unused mail slots that like stubborn mouths
and sealed hearts
have stayed closed till rust rubricates their metal lips.
Don’t say I never gave you anything. ๐Ÿ˜‰
— From the “Places the Mail Took Me” series by Annette Marie Hyder

With the passing of the longest night

Daylight grows,
drapes itself along tree limbs
across the many feathered breasts of birds,
pools in hollows,
kinks sinuously over the tops of city buildings
from the highest skyscraper
to the lowest dilapidated shack,
undulates across the land
a python magnificent and grand
strong and beautiful in its glowing/growing fatness
and look — just look —
at the multifaceted diamonds it wears upon its back.
— Annette Marie Hyder

Happy first day of winter!

Sojourner in You

door to the clouds
The Door to the Clouds digital photography by Christian Schloe

Your heart: an elevator to the stars,
the door to the clouds.
Your arms: a place of great safety
from rising/turning tide.
Your eyes: endlessly spiraling staircases.
Whether up or down, I want to go
where those stairs lead me to.
Me: a sojourner
in the mystery of you.
— Sojourner in You by Annette Marie Hyder, after “The Door to the Clouds” digital photography by Christian Schloe

Dear Santa

dirty mailbox clean hope
Photo from the “Places the Mail Took Me” series by Annette Marie Hyder

The Post Office receives, easily, millions of letters to Santa every year and has been receiving letters to Santa for more than a hundred years. New York City alone receives 500,000 letters to Santa each year. What happens to all those letters, all those missives of hope?

In 1912, Postmaster General Frank Hitchcock authorized postal employees and citizens to respond to the letters.

“Today, the popular holiday program is known nationwide as Letters to Santa. The exception is New York City, where the cityโ€™s own Operation Santa, the largest in the country, responds to more than 500,000 letters each year. Thousands of volunteers work with Post Offices to respond to letters from children of all ages listing their holiday wishes.

Once again this year, employees, members of the public, charitable organizations and corporations can help USPS respond to the letters at Post Offices around the country by participating in the Letters to Santa program.” Source:

If you are interested in adopting a letter, check out this link to find out how: USPS Santa Letters

Personal information pertaining to the letter writer will be obscured — no last names, addresses or contact information of any kind will be visible. Only the first name and the wishes will remain — wishes for you to make come true!

The Northeast Minneapolis Sphinx

Photo from the “Places the Mail Took Me” series by Annette Marie Hyder

From the pages of mythology — right into my path today as I carried mail on Jefferson Street in Northeast Minneapolis: Sphinx.

There are angels turning
’round the corner
sphinxes waiting
in the snow —
there are wonders that are
simultaneously real
as they are not-so-certain
just off-stage behind the curtain
of this earthly sold-out show.
— Annette Marie Hyder

It’s the full Cold Moon tonight

She is fat with the satisfaction of her cold light.
She is fecund with frosty happiness.
The clouds are slips of lace, mere lingerie,
and the night watches transfixed as she lets them drift away.
She pulls the night in closer,
as if he is the tide at her command.
And in a way he is, this lover of hers
who is always with her —
and stirs her darker side.
The moan that she rouses in him
is the true origin
of the first wolf’s howl
and in this way too they are always paired.
Longing made manifest
in the soul song of one of earth’s best creatures
is their gift to each other–
that and their child
that they both dote on
known as Lunacy.
The light and the dark and the passion make
a beautiful sorcery.
— Annette Marie Hyder

Message bearing

Photo from the “Places the Mail Took Me” series by Annette Marie Hyder

The original meaning of the Greek work for angel is ‘messenger’. I was carrying letters in the snow today and saw this messenger, this angel, looking to be struggling through the snow — just like me. ๐Ÿ™‚

How much walking do I do on a route when I am on a walking route? Well there’s an app for your iPhone that counts your steps. I walked 11 miles today. Just your average ‘angel’ –one wearing grippers on her boots. ๐Ÿ˜‰