David Breitkopf 





Just when you think the day is uneventful
a phone rings in a public booth
and you answer it.
A low, smoky voice curls into your brain
like a skill you never knew you possessed.
He wants to become your mentor
and lists his credentials.
You catch that he worked for the government 
and you’re hooked.
You begin by revealing your life:
the car accident your insurance won’t pay for,
the marital problems with your second wife.
His voice shakes its head reassuringly.
You rack your brain for something unique.
Maybe your ability to spell words backwards,
or the time the golf instructor complimented
your follow-through, your first and only lesson.
Or the face lift that’s taken years from your life.
His voice comes back slowly
and you realize the distance is greater
than you thought.
His voice is the silence in between.


(Originally published in  The Poetry Miscellany, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, 1981.
Posted in this space June 25, 2015)


To contact David Breitkopf  send an email to: dbrightcough@nyc.rr.com