Telephone

I.
An appendage of my stepdaughter’s hand,
pink as the tongue it has muted.
Even as she sleeps
it snores gently in her loosened grasp.
All day her thumbs tap
coded words across the screen,
her eyes alive in its light.

II.
In my mother’s hand,
another riddle she once knew
how to solve. Today she is
all thumbs as numbers
shine like ciphers
others must unlock.

III.
In my dreams it sits calm
and ample as the Sphinx
upon a table and I
fumble frantic at the dial
that will not make
its circle. Hello,
hello, I call into its
dull hum.

Pauletta Hansel is the author of six poetry collections, including Palindrome (Dos Madres Press, 2017), written in response to her mother’s dementia. Hansel is Cincinnati’s first Poet Laureate (2016-2018) and is co-editor of Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, the literary publication of Southern Appalachian Writers Cooperative.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *