Title: Call

Author: Emma Neale

In: Sport 10: Autumn 1993

Publication details: Fergus Barrowman, May 1993, Wellington

Part of: Sport

Keywords: Verse Literature

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Sport 10: Autumn 1993


page 69


It's after midnight here
when the phone leaps,
a jack-in-the-box unsprung
and like a child
before its first white-faced clown
I am on neither side of hope nor fear
just breathing.

Then: the jangle of lives
down what we picture as simple lines
stretched round through the night
to where it gets lighter
and sparrows surf the wires
in the wind, the hum of our talk
a tingling in their bones.

As I hunch at the receiver
on seesaw of sleep
and excitement
I can hear someone
slice up the afternoon
in yellow wedges
for their bread and
in the clatter of cutlery,
car keys, costume jewellery,
a spinning coin
against the smooth plane
of a voice:
my heart as it ricochets win-to-lose
with the guesswork
of what news.