Wrong Number

'Hello, is that Alma Home?'
Said the lady's voice when I picked up the phone.
'No, this is Brenton Towers,
We've been awaiting your call for hours'.
I said that to confuse her
But then felt a little evil
In case she was old and/or alone.
'Well all I'm actually doing dear
Is dialling a number on a letter'.
I think she was conflating
Hard fact and reason,
But it's summer,
And that's par for the season.
To make her feel better I asked,
'What number do you have?'.
She read out my number
And I could hear her, waiting.
'That's the number I have too!
Let me just check the phone book,
Hold and I'll get back to you'.
I took a Bible from the shelf
And leafed loudly through its pages.
'Blimey dear, you're right!
It says here: 'Alma Home'! Do you know
For ages and ages I thought I was me,
Now I realise that all along
I've been a centre for residential care.
Thankyou so much. Are you still there?'
She wasn't. And I felt wrong, in the way
Of something not being quite right.
To atone I shall buy some lavender,
Put it in a bowl in the hall,
And stand in the doorway, smiling all night.

Sam Brenton

If you've any comments on this poem, Sam Brenton would be pleased to hear from you.

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