The red phone

The red phone

A Poem by Pip

A poem about the last moments of a long-married couple.


The red phone rang

And ten minutes later there he lay

An old man with large glasses

Perched on an academic nose.

Staring straight at the ceiling,

Eyes fixed and unblinking,

Frightened and unmoving.

A trapped owl.


Suddenly he spoke.

“Are you there?”

His voice incongruously imperious

In his fragile frame.


Out of the furore

Of staff cutting clothes, attaching monitors, taking blood,

The buzzing, beeping cacophony,

Appeared his wife.

Takes his reached out hand

Says “I’m here.”


Their last words.

His death on the operating table,

From the aortic rupture

That started as a susurrating ooze

While he pruned roses that afternoon.


Did you know the odds?

Did you cling to that slim sliver of hope

The 5% chance?

Had you known,

Would you have chosen differently?


Said “Leave us, leave us”,

To hold gnarled, beloved hands,

Whisper last caresses,

Then slip the ropes

And sail away

On an opiate sea.



© 2017 Pip

Author's Note

Any comments welcome, as long as constructive!

My Review

Would you like to review this Poem?
Login | Register

Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe

Advertise Here
Want to advertise here? Get started for as little as $5


Added on April 27, 2017
Last Updated on April 27, 2017



Southampton, United Kingdom

I am currently grappling with empty-nesting, the menopause, a work crisis, but actually it might sound bad it's good too! I am discovering where Pippa went, 30 years ago. I have had work published b.. more..

Grief stage one. Grief stage one.

A Story by Pip