How nice it would be to pick up
our old phone’s receiver with
its big perspex dial, to push my
fingers into the uncomfortable
holes around the circumference
and, after each digit, let it whir
satisfyingly home before a breathy
pause and then the pairs of purrs.

She would take some time, perhaps
reappearing from her garden with
mud thickening on her beloved hands
or staying her sewing machine’s
homely chatter to clamber around
too much old furniture and reach
for her yellowing plastic handset
in its home on the window ledge.

She would spy Norman the bin-man
across the road and wave, or tut
as “Bog Whiskers” next door threw
a fag-end into her garden. Down the line
there would be hearing aid feedback
at first before a tremulous voice,
coloured at the edges with Birmingham,
would faithfully recite the number.

Ben Banyard

If you have any comments on this poem, Ben Banyard would be pleased to hear from you.