The Telephone Line Sags

by a contributor

Mark Jackley

Black smile
for every message like
“Your mother is now at peace”

For every stunned recipient
whose mouth still tastes like cardboard

Whose limbs buzz with grief,
for the planetary silence
after hanging up
and shuffling the mail

Big sloppy grin
for any bird that ever
wavered in the wind
and let go

Mark Jackley is the author of several chapbooks, most recently Every Green Word (Finishing Line Press), and a full-length collection, There Will Be Silence While You Wait (Plain View Press). His poems have appeared in Sugar House Review, Pebble Lake Review, Crate, 10×3 Plus and other journals. He lives in Sterling, VA.

See Mark’s list of 5 Things You Should Read in our ongoing contributors’ series.
See also Mark’s other poem, Last Dance at the Sunset Grille.