Sometimes the phone would ring
and I would run to answer it but by the time I got there,
the line was dead.

Pressing the receiver against my ear
I pretended it was my dad
calling to check in on me while he was gone.

Curled into a ball
on the blue and white linoleum tiles in my grandmother’s kitchen
I twisted the cord around my finger,
answering make-believe questions
while the dial tone droned in my ear like a tired bee.

My grandmother caught me once
and told me to quit playing games
that the phone was not a toy
but still, each time it rang,
I raced to be the first one
to pick it up
and say hello.

@copyright Susan Taylor Brown 2010
All Rights Reserved