Long Distance Phone Call

Sometime around May 2002 I was a member of the Chattanooga Writer’s Guild. I would say, looking back now, it was more for support and the educational guidance into writing I never received earlier in life. I presented a poem written about my father in a poetry workshop. Of course, so personal it was the perfect piece, but much to my surprise, it needed work. I was resistant to the criticism I was given then (although I wrote down and kept every word they said).

It would have been my father’s 87th birthday this past week and I thought of this poem. I re-read the feedback given to me and finally made the adjustments. I openly accept any thoughts, feedback or criticism you may have on this piece. Thanks in advance for your feedback.

Long Distance Phone Call

The pastel colors of spring have a milder focus today

my father spoke with a muttered tone

as he recalled Doctor Lynn

I listened and learned

what we did not want to hear

like a boarding train’s whistle

his words were deafening

piercing in pitch

blasting with force

my suitcases may already be packed

but my feet have to remain on the ground

as I rely on words to hold him to hug him

to give the hope he so desperately needs

without a moment for silence I spoke

Father, rise above the forest floor

when it ignites with such bad news

remember the words you defied in 1928

at birth, weighing just one pound

wrapped in a blanket

placed in a roasting pan

incubated in an oven

that Doctor, never gave you a chance

a chance to serve and defend your country

father and raise four boys

survive a triple bypass

and to have ever learned this word

In May 2008 he passed away, not from the prostate cancer he was diagnosed with six years earlier, that was defeated, but from a heart attack while battling shingles.

8 thoughts on “Long Distance Phone Call

  1. I don’t want to lend any criticism only to say I applaud the opening of heart to share this segment of life, deeply personal, with the world. Touching work!!

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