The Telephone Call, 1974
by Tricia Marcella Cimera
I am ten years old, sitting
on my bed with the Snoopy sheets,
surrounded by my Breyer horses.
My mother is in her room,
sleeping with her eyes open,
a glass of water on the nightstand.
She’s back from the psychiatric ward,
for the second time after another
week’s stay. I don’t know her;
I love her helplessly.
I can hear my father in his office
speaking on his black telephone
to my grandmother who lives
in another state. He calls her
by her first name, says
Please come. Please come.
I don’t know his voice, never heard
him plead before. There is a long
silence, then he hangs up.
Suddenly I feel like I am getting
smaller, becoming tiny, no one’s
girl. I want to ride away
on one of my Breyer horses.
Almost 47 years later, I am still
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