Calling Home

Alas, she felt: if you hear
it ring, you have to try
to run. You have to answer:

“Grandma, it’s me. It’s me.”
“Ist das you, Jeanie?”
“Grandma, it’s me. Ja. Jeanie.”
“Jeanie’s not home. She ist in
New York,” she tells me.

“Grandma, I’m home. I’m at Logan!”
I shout direct in the speak holes
cupping my hand to put every force
of my voice in her hear holes.

“Ach the verdammte thing!
Nothing! Nothing!” she cries,

and hangs up.

©1976, alicejamesbooks