January Poetry Blitz: George Drew

Ghost Calls

In memory of Leo Connellan

Ghost calls—that’s what Miss Susan Pellicani
says they call them here. Ghost calls—when
the telephone rings and you say hello and
nothing. Not even heavy breathing. Nothing
but the silence of the ocean from New Harbor,
deep North woods, the bay behind your house
on any winter day. Maybe it really is a ghost.
Grandmother? Father? Cousin? Friend? First wife?
Does it merely want to talk, swap tales
like lobstermen kept in Rockland by bad weather?
On the bulletin board outside the inside entrance
to the Lobster Pot Cafe in Damariscotta, Maine,
the For Sale signs stop you going in and coming out.
For Sale—cross-country skies. For Sale—a trampoline.
For Sale—one treadmill master in mint condition.
For Sale—a snowmobile. Yes, ghosts are everywhere:
in computers, in fax machines, in VCRs and DVDs,
in Gutenbergian placards tacked to cork boards,
and, yes, in telephones. And when finally there is
a voice…Hi, this is Loon Harbor Savings & Loan
Oh, where is hoop net pot and Parlor trap?
Dragger and Double Header? Pot warp and short?
Ghost calls—wind in rigging that isn’t there.

By George Drew

(From American Cool, Tamarack Editions, winner of the 2009 Adirondack Literary Award. George Drew’s other recent books are The Hand that Rounded Peter’s Dome and The View From Jackass Hill.)

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