Once My Mother
put the phone in the freezer
while we were talking
and closed the fridge door.

On my end, a white quiet
came through the receiver—
the moment after music stops
though the swan-maidens’ feathers
still lift and fall,

while on her end
the phone had disappeared
but she couldn’t tell me
because the phone had disappeared.

I made the usual twenty-minute drive in twelve,
found her dog-in-a-storm, wide-eyed,
keening, traced the cord
across the kitchenette, said “Sweetheart,
sweetheart, it could happen to anyone”—
heat and weight of the yoke
coming down.
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