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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Telephone (07/17/08)

TITLE: Haunting
By Sheri Gordon
07/22/08


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It haunts me every day.
Motionless. Mocking.
Ring, ring.
I suck in air and forget how to exhale.
Oh, maybe itísÖ
No, it canít be.
It never will be again.
I stare at the cold, taunting instrument.
Willing myself to pick it up.
No, thank you, Iím not interested.
Didnít you hear me? I said no thank you!


It haunts me every day.
Sedentary. Scoffing.
I grasp the emotionless piece of equipment.
Trembling fingers depress too-familiar buttons
On the keypad.
Ring, ring.
Weíre not home right now.
Our girls made us get this silly machine.
Leave a message and weíll get back to you.

I suck in air and forget how to exhale.
Realizing I will never again have a conversation
With that distant, maternal voice.

Four years creep by.
I refuse to let it haunt me another day.
Unmoving. Uncaring.
Nothing but an impersonal tool of technology.
Ring, ring.
I suck in air and forget how to exhale.


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This article has been read 764 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sharlyn Guthrie07/24/08
Your title is perfect for this haunting poem. I'm left with many questions, but that's obviously intentional. Nice work.
Joanne Sher 07/25/08
Your title says it all - a very evocative piece, and yes, haunting.
Amy Michelle Wiley 07/27/08
Hmmm, very interesting piece. Is the mother dead, or estranged, I wonder.
Joy Faire Stewart07/28/08
I was very touched by this poem. Excellent writing capturing the deep grieving process.
Chely Roach07/28/08
Wow. Very emotional. Very raw. Loved the repeating line. Amazing.
Mariane Holbrook07/30/08
I'm sitting here with my mouth open! I've been there/done that! The words and the feelings behind them haunt me, badger me. This is a short piece but it's jam-packed full of meaning. Makes me feel like I've been kicked in the stomach and deservedly so! Huge, huge kudos!
Catrina Bradley 07/30/08
Haunting, indeed. I like the repeated line. Great job on this poem.
Helen Dowd 07/30/08
Oh yes, a telephone certainly can be haunting. It makes me sometimes feel like this person, wanting to tear it out. Yet, what would we do without it? Loved the poem. Wish it could have been longer. It seems like you wanted it to go on; yet if you had, the Haunting aspect may have been lost...Helen
Verna Cole Mitchell 07/30/08
You carried your title through perfectly.
Sara Harricharan 07/30/08
WOW! This is one of my favorites for this week! Certainly very powerful and creative with the format. I loved the repeating line of "I suck in air and forget how to exhale." that was just wow, great writing! ^_^
Joshua Janoski07/31/08
lots of questions, but like it's already been said, that seemed to be intentional to leave the reader wondering. I could feel the eerie silence in this piece. Very good job!
Leigh MacKelvey08/03/08
Oh my goodness, sorry I am so late! Great job on this free verse, Sheri. It was haunting and I loved that you used concrete words.I'm proud!