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The Eclectic Pen - PHONE CALL

By: Barbara P. (gotchagal) - ,   + 19 more  
Date Submitted: 4/2/2010
Genre: Literature & Fiction » Poetry
Words: 252

  First came the phone call,
"Staying overnight in Pennsylvania.
Have to see someone on business.
I'll be there tomorrow evening,
possibly before dinner, perhaps a little later.
God, it's been so long.
Hang tight, Babe...see you tomorrow night.
I love you all."

The same evening the children worked,
planning "Welcome Home" signs,
excited, preparing decorations,
fluffing up the pillows on his favorite chair.

All the next day they popped in and out of the house,
checking in case he arrived ahead of time,
earlier than scheduled.
Delayed dinner, not able to interest themselves in food,
knowing he was finally coming home.

They sat with their friends on the porch for four hours,
hoping to be the first ones to see his car approaching,
until bitten by flies and exhausted by the heat,
they were driven indoors.
The sound of a car coming down the street
caused an immediate rush to the door.

Even the dog had been shampooed
and bows tied in her hair in honor of his arrival.

I waited. We all waited,
reading poems aloud to pass the time.
Watching expectantly.
Speaking of the surprise "Welcome Home" cake
baked especially for him, telling each other
how very wonderful it would be to have him home,
until drained, one by one,
they fell asleep on the couch and chairs
in various positions
of discomfort and disappointment.

I alone, am left to keep the vigil, sitting,
staring at the door
while night goes by and the sun comes up.
Wondering. Watching. Worrying.
Waiting for another phone call...
Dreading it.

The Eclectic Pen » All Stories by Barbara P. (gotchagal) - ,

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Marta J. (booksnob) - 4/4/2010 7:49 PM ET
Really well-written! The anxiety is palpable.
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