Call Back
by Vicki Mandell-King



Shadow on one breast – a call back to retest.
Hold still, hold breath, Not yet, not yet.
Just a false alarm. With a long sigh,
I return home to the garden where
an old friend waits. Behind him,
butter-yellow tulips blinding bright.
Not seen in years, but here this day–
face crinkled in a grin, devilment
in his eyes. And most of all,
his spot-on descriptions of those
we love, fleshed and realized.
Having watched me with his son
– that sun-browned child of long ago
swimming in a clear warm pool –
he imagines my grandchild and me
and says he has always loved
my one-on-one, rapt attention ways.
His words like a black Bindi dot
pressed to my forehead – signifying
widowhood though I am yet no widow.
After a couple of hours, my friend
walks out the gate, slight hitch in his hip,
I call him back with the thought –
we may not live to see each other again.





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