It’s Friday, July 18th. We start to say grace when my phone rings. Without looking, I know it’s you. My dish of penne remains in the microwave as I see your name on the incoming call.
You ask about the weather, my writing, and work. I answer what I can. And savor the soft, resigned tone that betrays a hint of sadness, along with that intellectual articulation. You laugh as I expound on the phrase “empty suits.”
I learn that I have two uncles and two cousins living in Auburn, NY. One is a poet seeking first publication. You tell me you’re alone. You pursued theater, making it to off-off-Broadway, where you performed in at least one shuttered play a year. When you realized you’d peaked, you left theater to pursue baking. You lived in New York City (10 years), Burlington, Vermont (6 years), Sarasota and other locales in Florida (14 years) and Asheville, North Carolina (7 years).
Somehow, the years of your career or residencies don’t add up.
But I discover where my love of poetry, creative writing, animals and movies comes from, don’t I? You took up drawing and painting in your fifties. A Black Bear yearling enthralled you.
We agree to speak again; the ball is in my court. I savor the unexpected sense of wholeness after I hang up.
Before an inexplicable sorrow arises to replace it.
you set your phone down
first published in Image Curve, February 7, 2019
for dVerse Poets’ OLN #237 (Pubtended by Grace)