Poetry

calling a dead man’s phone

calling a dead man’s phone

for the past few days
that’s what i’ve been doing
trying to find out what was wrong

did it ring
reverberating, sound bouncing
off the piles of magazines and meccano?

is it cleared already
did a team swoop in and bin
all the stuff you’d hoarded over the decades?

fifty-four years
in that home, a good chunk
of your eighty-six on this earth

could it be heard
in the garden, the ringing?
do the rosebushes miss you now?

you tended it well
a small yet potent symbol
of your ability to nurture and to care

did a neighbour hear it
walking by
and think “someone doesn’t know he’s dead?”

is your body cold
and breaking down already
inside the storage facility at the funeral place?

is it raining there
on your flowers and vegetables?
i hope so – i hope the skies are watering them for you

is the house aware
on some level unknown to us
that its occupant has left for good

or does it creak
resignedly
assuming you’re just off on a trip for a few days?

when will it realise?
when will it know?

i’ve been calling a dead man’s phone.

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