Poem – Answering Machine (By Donal Mahoney)

Answering Machine
My wife’s upset because
I won’t answer the phone
in the middle of the night
even though the phone’s
on my side of the bed.
And I say that’s because after
all these years we both know
whenever the phone rings
in the middle of the night,
someone we know, maybe
someone we love, has
died in an accident or
is lingering in some ER.
That’s why I’d rather
let the message go to
the answering machine
and the two of us 
can listen to it there.
It gives me time to stiffen
and my wife time to cry.

Author Bio:

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri. He has had fiction and poetry published in various publications in the U.S. and elsewhere. Among them are The Galway Review (Ireland), The Recusant (England), The Missing Slate (Pakistan), Guwahatian Magazine (india), Bluepepper (Australia), The Osprey Journal (Wales), Public Republic (Bulgaria), and The Istanbul Literary Review (Turkey). Some of his earliest work can be found at and some of his newer work at