Silence down a Phone

Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

We’ve kicked the cousins and their entourages out of the house at last, so it finally feels like we’ve had Christmas. It lasts a long time in my family. Now for New Year’s.

At this time of year, for the brief period of time when I’m back in England, I sometimes get in touch with old friends. This year, I’ve put my mobile somewhere stupid, so I’ve not spoken to anyone except those who’ve rung the home phone. And Nick (my twin) has dealt with calls from local, mutual friends. And actually, strangely, it’s a bit of a relief to be away from everyone, and just with the family. I’ve always been close to my cousins, and we’ve always got stuff to talk about… and we never seem to have awkward silences, as we can just move on and talk to the next one.

This poem was written over the summer, when I was rushing around trying to meet people. It also fermented during the “let’s get drunk and write poetry” experiment. Looked back on it today, and decided it was reasonable, so I’ll post it up.

Silence Down a Phone

We haven’t spoke in months.
Sure, Facebook, once or twice.
Does that count? Still, it’s
your voice, this time. Different.

I planned jokes, in fact.
Silly things to say, but
I dropped them, not knowing if
you’d changed, or worse,

stayed the same. Strangely,
we picked up as though nothing –
but with extra silences.
As if our natural conversation

always had those gaps, between.
So I quickly turned the call
to a purpose. Let’s all meet up
I said, catch up, I said.

Yeah. Good idea. What’ve –
what’ve you been doing,
these last few months.
Oh, you know. When I don’t,

really. That wasn’t the question.
The question was, are we…?
Are you? And more, am I?
Because I don’t know.

But neither do you. And maybe,
if we meet, we’ll know. But
we have, you know. Changed.
But let’s regress for a day.

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