January 2006 /Volume Seven / Issue One
Tom O'Connell
Telephones Ringing in Empty Houses

You must think that I
Am in jail, ‘cause you never
Get a letter from me.

Here I am
Talking to you, and you
Will never know it. You

Listen to the siren
Of a hook and ladder as
It passes through
The business district, the whine

Of a dog on a run
Watching the squirrel
Taunting him on the deck
Railing, the vibration of pipes

As water running through
Fills a school teacher’s
Bathtub, the commotion
Of glasses

In a rubber basin, carried
Into the kitchen
By a bus boy on
His first day at work.

I would light
A candle if I believed

The smoke would bring
A comforting word

To your window seat.