Empty words that matter.
Every time she phones it’s nearly time for bed.
You answer, wishing you could say,
‘I’m too tired to talk now.’
But you say ‘Hi,’ and wait for opening lines.
A conversation splutters into life.
Did you hear from Paul? You tell how
you pissed him off. Both laugh about it and
words flow. You learn about new clothes
She takes an interest in your new car and
tells about the one Brad bought for her
last week. You know she knows
it’s better than yours,
but it’s never mentioned.
The subject returns to Paul’s politics, his
strange swing to the right for no apparent
reason. The weather “where you are”
is discussed in full.
She may visit in the fall.
She inquires about your mum’s health
offering understanding words. You talk
about your favourite TV show.
You hear her eyes glaze over.
It’s time for excuses.
Two hours out of your life when you should
be sleeping and nothing has been said.
You wonder why she phones.
You wonder why you like her to.
You wonder why You care.