My Father’s Voice

A bad connection,
my father’s voice, thin on the phone,
but there were no storms back east,
none here in Illinois.

He was winded,
though it rang just once,
as if he’d been running —
said he was waiting for a business call.

The less I could hear him,
the louder I yelled,
sounding like him those Saturday mornings,
shouting out chores.

I asked would he be out this fall
but his answer was lost in voices,
far off, some other phone.
In the distance, I could hear their laughter.

© Bruce Guernsey