Being cordless but low-tech,
He won’t talk on the phone anymore.
He says it’s lost somewhere,
Perhaps on the kitchen counter
Near the smear of mustard
Or by the slice of bologna–
Though I know it’s right there
In his pants pocket or his walker’s box
Where Zelda the Forest cat sleeps
Dreaming of Norwegian life.
I picture him rolling slowly
Out to his third-floor balcony
To unfurl the American flag
In the warm Santa Ana wind
While the 210 Freeway rumbles and
Mumbles above Old Pasadena.
Sirens and helicopters chatter and whine
While he waits for the green emerald
Parakeets to arrive from the foothills
To preen and prattle in tall swaying pines.
He listens absently to a ringtone;
Then, moving his hand across his pants pocket,
He lifts Zelda to check
The empty box.
Front Porch Review (January 2013)