She calls me

She still calls to tell me about the kids
even now that they’re grown, ’cause they
stayed back there, in the midwest and
she hears from them more, but

Sometimes my kids call and
afterward, when the conversation has
jerked and jolted through those
first moments to finally smooth out,

To finally unwrap what’s happened,
tell me what’s new, answer (or not)
questions any absent parent will ask or
maybe share some feelings… yes, when

My kids call — I stop everything and
still, she knows more what’s going on…
but maybe that’s natural, because the
man has to work, or look for work, and

When at last it’s still their home but
no longer his, then it’s up to him to
gather those un-matched objects that help
remind him who he is, while realizing

How pitiful he must appear in his
leaving, sad-faced when that last day
comes down, finally eager to be
out of their sight with his long healing,

Out of their sight to wonder just
how she explains to them, what she
tells or withholds until years later,
her anger dissipated, with a more

Mature perspective in her mind
she calls to keep him up-to-date and
connected, but the connection never
fully recovers because after all,
she gets to be the one who calls.

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3 Responses to “She calls me”

  1. Joy Says:

    kids – our children –
    yes difficult with the ways families change…

  2. inchiki Says:

    i think this is really sensitively written. slipping into third person halfway, as if to distance the pain that is felt, is very effective. consciously avoiding bitterness untill the last line. “when the conversation has / jerked and jolted through those / first moments to finally smooth out” reminds me of human movements – and a nice metaphor for the whole experience of the separation. it is a human poem, & it was very meaningful for me. thanks.

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