Phone Calls From Overseas

My grandparents would phone us from England
Down here somewhere on the tip of Africa

On Birthdays, on Christmas, on special occasions

And my parents would call us to come to the phone
To speak quickly because the calls were expensive
And every second and every word mattered

Because they’d go through these cables under the sea
Across deserts and through cities I’d never visit

If people put their heads to the pipe, maybe they could hear them
Whizzing by, sounds and vowels skipping across the dirt

And they’d say “happy birthday, we love you, put your father back on,”
And I’d say “thank you, I love you, here he is.”

1 thought on “Phone Calls From Overseas”

  1. I used to get those calls too, and the twice a year cards with Pounds scrunched within them. I miss my grandfather. I never met him, but those phone calls always held such promise. He would laugh. His delight was hearing my voice, and my delight was knowing he existed.

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