Friday Poem

Answering the Phone

Used to be
you'd say
and think nothing of it

or else someone else might do it
for you
He's out may I take a message
and you'd return the call

When Bobby died
and the man across the street
and Bill
and Mr. G.

all that changed
and you think
now before you answer the phone
and take a deep breath

and think something of it
and you know
no one else can ever answer
for you again

so now you pick up the receiver
and say not hello but
now what

now what

by John Stone
from In All This Rain
Louisiana State University Press, 1980