Phone Booth Philosophy

Phone Booth Philosophy

A Poem by The Things She Noted

I tried calling you today from the pay phone by the lake 

The phone booth was graffitied in childlike writing 


I tried calling you with hands so numb from the cool of the October’s air 

I just went for a walk 

Not far

But I didn’t cry when I looked at the water 

And I thought you might be proud of me 

I tried calling even though I began to doubt there was sound left in my throat 

Two quarters 

That’s all it cost to hear your voice and yet I still questioned whether to spend the money 

I’ve been saving up 

Budgeting like you told me to

I think you might be proud 

I thought about the dollar coffee I bought this morning and decided that If I don’t get one tomorrow that I could make this call

Guilt free

But I’ve never made a call to you guilt free 

I tried calling you today as I stood between the frosted plexiglass of performative privacy  

The whole walk I repeated the 9 digits that belonged to you 

The 9 digit code to unlock your voice

Release your rage 

But I fear it will be disappointment instead 

I could see my breath now 

Remember when I used to pretend it was smoke from a cigarette when I was young 

How I would take a drag of the fresh air that lingered between my fingers and huff out a gust of make believe smoke, as though I had a hard day at work 

Just like you 

Before I tried calling I wiped the black phone with a wet wipe 

And when I put the cool plastic to my ear 

I heard the most dreadful sound 

The sound of nothingness 

And when I put my two quarters in 

No coffee tomorrow 

It was not your 9 digits I pressed slowly in to 

A 9 second countdown 

Instead I dialed a familiar number that you may not know 

No one picked up 

The voice of a woman rang through my ears 

Asking to leave her a message 

She sounds so unsure of herself 

I began to list all the grocery items I will need for the coming weeks




The line ran dry 

No more time left to talk to myself 

Buzzing as though the timer on my pathetic attempt to hear your voice was up 

My hands are numb and every part of me feels cold 

The kind of cold that sits inside of you 

The cold you cannot heat

I dropped the phone let it ring off the hook

The silver cord dangling 

I tried calling you today 

Like I have tried for the past year 

I walk back to my car 

Keys in the ignition 

And smash my hands hard onto the steering wheel

Only once 

Self control 

I know you’d be proud 

I’ll try calling you tomorrow 

But I know it will be me who picks up 

© 2021 The Things She Noted

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You are a amazing storyteller. Yo took me in and you held my attention till the last words. I like how you twist the to meaningful thoughts and ideals. Please send read requests. I love your work dear poet. Thank you for sharing the outstanding poetry.

Posted 3 Months Ago

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1 Review
Added on May 25, 2021
Last Updated on May 25, 2021
Tags: poetry, youth, freedom, poem, fun, happy, sad, alive, river, deep, love, pain, sadness, review, writing, depressed, poet, life, inspiration, writers, art, parents, phone, mom, lonely


The Things She Noted
The Things She Noted

toronto, Canada

writing is the closest I’ve gotten to heaven more..