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“Tape of My Dead Father's Voice from an Old Answering Machine”
Marjorie Maddox

He keeps telling me he's not at home,
that he'll reply soon. He doesn't know
he's lying, that what's hiding between the space
of words is space he's gone to. He repeats his name,
which is not the name I call him. I call him now,
hear only the unanswerable space answer. Home
is always where we've left, the space that means "before."
I know to keep his voice rewinding until the space
of now begins to answer. At the tone, I can't find a home
for how all space rewinds. Lying, I repeat that I am fine,
take out the home he was, and leave my name.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 29th, 2009 04:18 pm (UTC)
so heartbreaking
Jun. 29th, 2009 05:02 pm (UTC)
Heartbreaking, and oh-so true. I listen to my dad's last message on the answering machine too, every once in a while.
Jun. 29th, 2009 05:13 pm (UTC)
He doesn't know
he's lying,

Love that bit.

Such a powerful poem.
Jun. 30th, 2009 03:13 am (UTC)
Jun. 30th, 2009 04:15 am (UTC)
My grandmother never changed her answering machine tape after my grandfather died. I sometimes call just to hear his voice.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )


poetry, exceptindreams
a poem some days

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