Ring, Ring, Ring

by Ginnah Howard

You have reached 456-7222.  If this is an emergency, hang up

and dial 911.  If this is trouble, please call someone else. You

cannot count on me; I am not here for you. The news I have is

good: you have a place to live; you have been befriended by

someone steady.   I'm holding onto that.  If this is not you, leave

a message.  I am standing by the phone, praying, an alarm going

off in my chest. If it isn't your voice, I'll answer. Whoever it is

that isn't you, be prepared for the gust of relief when I say Hello.