Calling 797-2238
Author: Shiloh


I was going back again,
and I wanted to say goodbye,
one last time,
just in case...
But every time I called,
your phone just rang and rang.
I got my orders in the afternoon,
and later I spent nearly the entire night
in a phone booth,
calling you,
and listening to your phone ringing.
Looking back,
I can understand why I did that,
but I also can't justify it,
because the finality
of that Wednesday evening
told me that it was over.
I remember only a little of the hours
after you returned my ring -
the long walk in the cold,
not really thinking,
but trying to understand,
and not understanding...
finding myself at the center
of the Court Street bridge,
looking down into the cold water...
reaching into my pocket,
removing the ring box,
taking the ring out of the box,
dropping the box into the water,
then dropping the ring after it.
It was a stupid gesture, maybe,
but I no longer had any use for it.
And later, before I went back overseas,
I stood in a telephone booth on base,
and listened to the ringing of 797-2238,
over and over and over...


Comments on this poem/writing:

Bipedalguy ( -- Sunday, May 25 2008, 07:59 pm


Very sad but very expressive writing. It really gets the feeling across.
The prospect of being sent away for a long time makes it hurt even more. For over 40 years my most frequent nightmare is based on going back again after the draft board lost the records of my completed military service. I tried to explain that their records were wrong, but they said my case could only be handled after I was reinducted at which time the mistake could be officially evaluated. I bet this has a familiar ring to it.
anonymous ( -- Sunday, June 8 2008, 02:05 am

Those old memories

A soldier in the service. For those soldiers in the service that broke up with their girlfriends or got a "Dear John letter". It is very painful when you need them the most. That ring that was sent back to you, that unbelievable letter. Made strong men drop to their knees and lose their minds. How time has erase the pain but not the memory. Thanks!
Name:                                           Remember Me

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