Call Denied

Roma­nia, she came from, on a plane,
To pros­per­ous Toronto. Only nine,
She knew enough of poverty and pain
To occupy a month of show-and-tell.
She learned to boat and bike, for­got to pine,
But, when a baby came to fill the nest
Her ‘daddy’ said, “too bad we didn’t gel”
And sent her pack­ing, back to Bucharest.

At twenty, she returned, her tear­ful, “why?”
Pro­jected though a barely opened door.
“Because you were unhappy,” the reply,
“And missed your home.” — “But I was just a kid!”
A scrawled-on piece of paper hit the floor.
“You want to talk, you call me.” When she tried,
A lady who was paid to, by the grid,
Said, “num­ber out of ser­vice; call denied.”

Peter Austin lives with his wife and three daugh­ters in Toronto, where he teaches Eng­lish at Seneca Col­lege. Over a hun­dred of his poems have been pub­lished, in mag­a­zines and antholo­gies in the USA (includ­ing The New For­mal­ist, Con­tem­po­rary Son­net, The Lyric, Iambs & Trochees, Chi­maera, Lucid Rhythms and Road not Taken), Canada, the UK, Aus­tralia, New Zealand, South Africa, Israel and Ger­many. As well as poetry, he writes plays, and his musi­cal adap­ta­tion of The Wind in the Wil­lows has enjoyed four pro­duc­tions, the most recent in July ’07, in Worces­ter, Massachusetts.