Your Name

April 03, 2013

Again, I have to tell Frank
the telemarketer
that you aren’t in —
I don’t have the heart
to tell him you are gone,
that he can never beg
you for money again.
I could pretend I was you
and tell him to buzz off
or I could tell him the truth —
that you are no longer,
to please leave us alone.
But then he would stop
calling and saying your name.
I think of you last summer
putting on your old lady voice
and getting them to hang up
with your tales of woe —
and your satisfied smile
when you succeeded.
So Frank may call back,
and I may try to channel
your humor — that I so miss.
As long as he keeps calling
and I keep hearing your name,
I can pretend you are still here —
that you will come around a corner,
take the receiver, and weave some crazy story
to make Frank hang up and try again.

— Anne M. Rashid

Anne M. Rashid is an assistant professor of English at Carlow University in Pittsburgh and lives in Regent Square. She has published poetry in Adagio Verse Quarterly, Lit Candles: Feminist Mentoring and the Text and The Metro Times, and has poetry forthcoming in Paterson Literary Review. Many writers featured in Chapter & Verse are guests of Prosody, produced by Jan Beatty and Ellen Wadey. Prosody airs every Saturday morning on 90.5 FM.

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