Our farmhouse telephone looked like a creature
born of wood and wire.
Square-headed, it was fitted out with bulging silver eyes,
a long black beak connected to a flaring mouth,
a pair of mismatched ears –
cylindrical receiver dangling down the left side,
short metal crank protruding from the right.
It shrilled all day from its position on the kitchen wall,
a different ring for every family on the party line
and there were twelve of them.
We knew them all.
that brought four daughters running hopefully.
The calls were usually for Mama,
who fluffed her hair out with a nervous hand,
tucked in her blouse and smiled
as if her friends could spy right through the snout.
- Sara DeLuca
1100 Heritage Drive
New Richmond, WI 54017