EMERGENCY PHONE

This was a poem that I did not know I had inside of me. I was quite surprised when it appeared on the page. Some poems are like that. They appear without much thought or effort. Bam! There they are. Others take time and thought and planning. You need to chew them over and over. Rework and rework and they never really feel right.

I was casually browsing the internet this evening. Nothing in particular on my mind. I thought I would revisit poets who have greatly inspired me, comforted me, delighted me.

One of whom is Rives. He is an excellent spoken word poet, which caught my particular interest. But he has many achievements in other fields as well. This evening, I listed to an old favorite poem that he presented at a TED conference some time ago. The video is below. It is titled 'If I controlled the internet.'

So I watched that. Enjoyed it as always, and then wandered over to visit another fantastic poet: Anis Mojgani. His way with words is awe inspiring. His grace and poise is beautiful. I only wish I could craft words like that one day and carry them off with such grace and ease.

I make it a habit of checking Anis's blog. Today he posted the image below and the text "I want, for when one might need the sound of someone pouring buttons from one jar into another. A silence similar to constellations. The voice you most wish to hear at that moment." (By the way, here is the link to Anis's blog: http://www.thepianofarm.com/)

These two poems together inspired a poem of my own. It flowed onto the page with a surprising amount of ease. I enjoyed the unexpected lack of effort in writing it, when sometimes writing can be a battle. Without further ado, delay, etc. Here is a new poem:

EMERGENCY PHONE

there it was

hanging there

in a dimly lit hallway

 

you'd walked past there more than a dozen times

maybe even a hundred

but never really noticed it

 

tucked away into a corner

an old fashioned

what used to be a bright red

but has now faded away

from use and abuse

into a dirty, worn out maroon

rotary phone

 

the label on the handle is peeling off

it says EMERGENCY

nothing more

 

no explanations

no directions

no rhyme or reason to what particular emergency it could be for

 

you carefully reach out and lift it to your ear despite having no emergency at hand

the results are never the same for any two people

this carefully hidden phone

it gives you precisely what you need

the voice of the very person that you needed to hear right then

in that moment

 

they cannot hear you

they cannot talk back

but they tell you

“I love you. I miss you. Now get back to living life. Studying books. Raising children. And Kissing Slow.”

Then hang up.

 

Silence. the kind with a capital S.

the kind that sits heavy on your heart

where you are both soothed and ache at the same time.

that heartbreak of home and not home

here and not here

all at once

 

you wish you could hear it again

but it only works the one time

the next time you walk down that hall

the phone is gone

but the ache is still there

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