Saturday, August 23, 2014

This Call May Be Recorded for Quality Assurance

This Call May Be Recorded for Quality Assurance

"Hello. Thank you for calling the Mail Order Pharmacy.
Someone will be with you shortly, if you wait patiently.
If you want someone who speaks Spanish, please press two.
Or stay on the line, if an English operator will do."

I miss the days when a real person answered the phone.
Now it's always a machine... I feel so alone.
I just want to refill my prescription. It's NOT complicated.
My blood pressure is high. I must be medicated.

"First we need the numbers for your ten-digit member ID."
I scramble to find the numbers then say slowly "5..5..2..3..."
"I'm sorry I didn't get that," the machine interrupts me.
"Please try again. Speak slowly and clearly."

I try again. Saying the numbers, getting it right.
"Thank you," the machine answers--oh so polite.
"Now I need your birthday. Month first, then date, then year."
The machine goes on and on with more questions and options for me to hear.

I go through the motions, respond to each cue.
I'm losing my patience, but what else can I do?
Address, phone number, doctor's name; I provide them all.
All I want to do is finish, so I can end this call.

Suddenly the machine hangs up without saying goodbye.
"NO WAIT! We're not done!" I sputter and mutter, swear and sigh.
Resigned to my fate, I dial again...trying not to cry.
I know ONE reason why my blood pressure's so high!
I will hate making calls to customer service until the day I die!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Constant Companion

Constant Companion

Ears--one up, one down.

Eyes--soulful, chocolate brown. 

Legs--dance a welcome home jig.

Barking, barking--(he's very little, but he thinks he's big).

A nudging nose--pet me, feed me, let me snuggle close.

Ball of fur--black sprinkled with grey.

Always by my side, at my feet all day.

First to notice if I'm feeling sad.

Loves me always, never gets mad.

Comforts, consoles, and clowns around.

Constant companion. Best friend. Hands down.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Waiting on the Train

Waiting on the Train

Two gentlemen: 
one in tie and grey suspenders and crisp white hat;
the other in blue overalls and crumpled fishing hat 
and holding a smooth, wooden cane in his hand;
sit, laughing and happy, in the front porch swing.

They keep company with a gentle, white-haired lady,
prim and proper in her Sunday best,
relaxed in her rocking chair,
passing the time on the front porch,
while the scent of honeysuckle drifts on the breeze. 

All conversation comes to a stop 
when the 3:15 comes roaring by,
just a short distance away 
on the tracks at the edge of the lot.
They feel the vibrations through their feet
and up through their bones.
They wonder who is on the train,
where they are going, 
and how their lives are about to change.

She holds up her index finger in a "just one minute" wave.
The trio nod and smile at each other. 

When the caboose rattles by 
and carries the last of the roar away with it,
the exchange of words and stories continues.

Some of us wait for the trains to pass 
so we can tell our stories in the quiet.

Others of us are caught up in the rhythm of the noise,
embracing it and singing along with it, 
as we jump on the train and ride to the next station.

                                         *   *   *   *   *   *   *

I recently visited our local art museum where in one room they had a display of photos of trains. One particular photo caught my attention. It really appealed to me, and it inspired me to write the above poem.You can see the photo and read a little about it here. On the site, you can click on the photo to enlarge it and get a better view.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Big Zoo Dance

Big Zoo Dance

Have you ever been there?
Have you ever had a chance?
Have you ever seen the animals 
at the Big Zoo Dance?

The ring-tailed lemur
listens to the big jazz bands.
He does the swing step,
complete with jazz hands.

The jellyfish love 
as they gracefully float and turn.
 Do you want to waltz too? 
You can do it...
just watch the jellyfish and learn!

You wouldn't expect the grim turkey vulture
to dance around a lot,
but you ought to see him flap his wings and strut
when he does the Turkey Trot.

The orange fin clownfish, 
with its stripes of neon blue,
twists and turns along the coral reef,
while dancing the Electric Boogaloo.

The big old bear dances and prances
to a rocking Twist and Shout.
He puts himself in such a spin,
he has to sit the next dance out!

The penguin dances to Puttin' on the Ritz,
and maybe he looks a little funny,
but in his fancy tuxedo suit,
he gives Astaire a run for his money.

The Lion King says to his Mrs.
"I won't dance with you."
So, she refuses to talk to him
and mopes around, feeling blue.

Have you ever been there?
Have you ever had a chance?
Have you ever seen the animals 
at the Big Zoo Dance?

Friday, June 13, 2014

Two Views

Two Views

Every night on their walk,
she looked toward the sky
at the house sitting high on the hill.
It looked out over town
and beyond to the lake.
Seeing it gave her a thrill.

She wondered who lived there.
What was it like?
Did they enjoy the view?
She knew the inside had to be grand--
a fanciful dream come true!

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Every night she looked out
after her dinner alone
from her house sitting high on the hill.
She'd see a young couple on the sidewalks below,
and she'd remember her walks with Will.

Now she rattled around 
in the house all alone.
Will was gone, and their children were grown.
She wished she could go back
to relive those walks.
Those days were so grand!
...If only she'd known.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Sidewalk Stories

Sidewalk Stories

Traces of yellow chalk dust--
remains of a hopscotch game.
 One, two, hop, jump.  
Pick up the stone.
Play with a friend,
or play alone.

Uneven concrete, 
cracked and lifted by gnarled roots 
in the shady spot under the old elm tree,
where walkers trip or stub a toe,
and roller skaters fall
and scrape a knee.

Lovers stroll
 as the sun sets.
"Hold my hand.
Come walk with me."
She leans into his shoulder.
He rests his cheek against her hair.
Such a thrill to hold her.
A day, such as this, 
he thought he'd never see.

Two elderly sisters,
arm in arm they walk along,
one keeps her balance with a cane.
Both widowed and left behind,
trying to fight the loneliness,
just holding on, trying to stay sane.
They fill their days with emptiness,
wondering why, wondering when.
So many questions still remain.

An exhausted mom
pushes her baby's stroller,
hoping the motion
will lull him to sleep.
He nods off and drops his pacifier.
It's surprising 
as we walk along;
the things we find,
the things we lose,
the things we keep.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Snow Leopard's Lament

Snow Leopard's Lament

Most walk right past me
though I'm right here in plain sight.
They glance my way
and then look away.
Do you understand my plight?
No one speaks to me! 
No one! Not one word!
I'm never noticed, never seen,
never heard.
I'm here in the shadows
in the grey and the black and the white.
I'm not trying to hide,
and I promise I won't bite.

(Unless, of course, you are a bird
or some other tasty dish
like a rabbit or a goat 
or... perhaps a fish.)

This is a picture of a snow leopard that I saw at our local zoo. This is a color photo, although it looks like a black and white. I was impressed with how well this animal blended in with the rocks and landscape around it. At first glance, I thought there were no animals in this area of the display. Once I saw it, I thought it looked kind of lonely, so I tried to imagine what it might be thinking.