A hand holds a receiver out a top-storey window
in a darkening city. The phone is the black,
old heavy type. From outside
what can we make of such an event?
The hand, which seems to be a woman’s,
holds the phone away from her lover, refusing
to let him answer his high-powered business call.
More likely a mother has got one more
sky-high phone bill and in a tantrum warns
her phone-happy son she’ll toss the contraption.
A demented widow, having cracked the number
to the afterlife, holds the receiver out
for the ghost of her lately deceased husband.
He’s weary of heaven and wants to hear dusk birds,
particularly the excited choir of city starlings.
It’s always dusk now, but the receiver isn’t held out
to listen to the birds of the Earth from Heaven.
It’s the black ear and mouth in the hand of a woman
as she asks her emigrated sisters and brothers
in a distant country if they can hear the strafing,
and those muffled thuds, how the last thud
made nothing of the hospital where they were slapped
into life. The hand withdraws. The window bangs closed.
The city is shut out. Inside now, the replaced phone
represses a moan. Its ear to the cradle
listens for something approaching from far off.


About Author Annette J Dunlea Irish Writer

Irish Writer Website: Twitter: @adunlea Facebook:
This entry was posted in Ireland, Poetry, Writing & Writers and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.