Minimised

No call today or yesterday
in fact nothing for over a week.

It’s not that I’m expecting the call –
not that I think it’s my right.

More that I know, if they’re minimised
then some poor soul’s lost their life

or his legs or an arm, has a hole
in her chest, or maybe she’s lost her sight.

So my fingers stay crossed for the phone to ring
for then everything’s under control,

My fears are allayed, but much more than that,
They’re having a safe, quiet night.

4 Responses to Minimised

  1. brian says:

    the feeling behind this,..all too real…it is nice to hear from those we love, to know they are ok…but also that they are thinking of us…smiles.

  2. SallyJ says:

    thanks Brian…what must it have been like before telcoms became so sophisticated?

  3. Beth Winter says:

    Silence feeds worry and worry grows expotentially. I like the calm voice here which seems odd since the theme is worry building to panic.

    As I critique, please remember that these are my observations and suggestions, simply opinions on my part. Take or leave any or all of what I say, okay?

    As I said, I like the calm voice, the sense of conversation with self. With that in mind, on to the crit.

    Your poem needs punctuation and it should be consistant throughout.

    Your two-line stanzas break the flow. I read all poetry out loud and find that the extra pauses forced by the frequent stanza breaks detracted from the poem. I would suggest punctuating and breaking as follows.

    No call today or yesterday
    in fact nothing for over a week.
    It’s not that I’m expecting the call –
    not that I think it’s my right.

    More that I know, if they’re minimised
    then some poor soul’s lost their life
    or his legs or an arm, has a hole
    in her chest, or maybe she’s lost her sight.

    So my fingers stay crossed for the phone to ring
    for then everything’s under control,
    My fears are allayed, but much more than that,
    They’re having a safe, quiet night.

    I’m not terribly fond of the ending although it is a wonderful closure for the worry. “but much more than that” might be rephrased to flow better. The “they” that you refer to in the last line doesn’t link back to a “they” in the previous stanzas. You’ve switched between a male and female in the worry, I assume that there is a couple that is the focus of the worry. With the stanza breaks that I suggested, the last stanza could use some fine-tuning.

    Thank you for offering this for my review. I hope what I’ve mentioned is helpful. I truly enjoyed reviewing your poem.

    Beth

    • SallyJ says:

      Beth, this is so helpful, thank you. The he/she thing is a nod to the view that ‘not all soldiers are male’. I see that it really has no place here as it is my son’s situation that triggered the poem. I see too, the problem with the last stanza and will work on it more. I like the four line stanzas…originally the two lines were used because my thoughts came slowly I think. I am always aware that putting my feelings into words somehow make them even more real. Words are potent. Thank you for taking so much time over this poem, it has been very helpful, Sally

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