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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Oops (01/14/10)

TITLE: Operator's Lament
By Edy T Johnson
01/16/10


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Operator's Lament

Wintertime, in rural snow, teenagers filled the car
From door to door and front to back.
Loud joyous sounds took up the space
Not otherwise quite occupied.

Their basketball had ruled the court,
The victory was more than sweet.
It was too soon to end the night.
Choc'late mugs, awaiting them, they took the time to stop.


Thoughtful son, one Alan, asked if he might use the phone.
His mom, he knew, would worry so,
With hour late, would he be safe?
To ease her mind, he'd let her know...

But, this was in a different time.
No rotary, no touch-tone phone,
An operator would respond,
Not unlike the TV kind (of Olson's Mercantile).


"Number, please," familiar voice, the woman on the line
Soon made connection; Mother heard
Her darling son was safely back.
She'd sleep, but leave the porch light on.

Meanwhile the other woman fumed,
She'd let that little ingrate know
How aggravated she'd become.
Without grace, she plugged the link, and called the young man back.


"How could you, while just a block away from home, yourself,
Why did you need to bother me?
Would it have been too difficult
For you to think of someone else?
You could have run home on your own!"
The young man knew not what to say,
But when he told his friends the charge,
Too late smart, they realized they'd called her out of bed!


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This article has been read 417 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sara Harricharan 01/22/10
The last verse tripped me up a bit, but I did understand the story. Poor Operator! At least Cellphones are still useful for something, LOL. Thanks for sharing.
Carol Penhorwood 01/26/10
Oh how things have changed! Another time, another place! Kids now would have no idea what you were talking about!!
c clemons01/27/10
This was not a smooth read at all no cadence or meter rhyme. A nice story but for a limited audience. Anyone under 50 will not have a clue what you're speaking of.
Patricia Herchenroether01/27/10
I'm definitely over 50 and remember this era, along with party lines, etc. You have a good plot, but the poem wasn't quite rhythmic. Perhaps a re-write in prose? A cute story.
Edy T Johnson 01/27/10
Blank verse is generally identified by a regular meter, but no end rhyme.
I did discern a pattern (cadence/meter), here (perhaps more apparent if read outloud):
/---/-/-/-/-/ (x1)
-/-/-/-/ (x6)
/---/-/-/-/-/ (x1) etc.