Friday, May 9, 2008

But, the phone never rings.

He answered with a question mark,
As if surprised by the sound
Coming from his kitchen.
He had only borrowed phones
Refusing to own one
Instead, stopped at a relative’s house
To make a call to someone else.

No rambling during this visit.
He seemed like a new person
I’d recently met.
Tidbits about a new doctor
And a banana a day
Had made him feel better than ever.
I took keen notes.

I think about you often, Daddy.
But, my phone never rings.
A fact I couldn’t deny.
How can you marry fear to love?
Or envision this old man ever doing those things?
I didn’t want that time to return
Or this new encounter to end.

Love was mumbled
Across the wires.
I said I’d talk to him soon
And because he knew I liked the sound of it,
His perfect ‘arrivederci’
Was the last sound I heard.
My memory from the prompt 'telephone' from Sunday Scribblings. Ring up other writers here.
[photo by Helen Levitt--New York, 1940]


anno said...

You've caught such complex feeling with such great economy, I'm a little afraid to breathe lest this poem's careful balance be disturbed. From, "He answered with a question mark," to "Love was mumbled across the wires," this was just perfect.

Granny Smith said...

I agree with anno: a perfect poem. It is also testimony that change is possible, at least temporarily over a telephone line.

GreenishLady said...

What a very poignant poem. Very sad, on both sides of the conversation. Well done.

Beatriz' suitcase contents said...

What a beauty! This poem is so sad, yet so incredibly bright. Thanks.

one more believer said...

i wanted to put my own 2 cents in but after reding anno's comment it is as i would have sed but oh so and more... and it sorta reminds me of my dad.... from another world sorta

Inland Empire Girl said...

I was stumped with this prompt. You took it to a new level!! I like the different levels of emotion.

Bluebethley said...

What a lovely response to this week's prompt. The picture absolutely sizzles. I especially like the rhythms that work throughout the poem to reflect a complex relationship changing over time, all building to a powerful closing.