I Promise I’ll Pick Up

//I Promise I’ll Pick Up

I Promise I’ll Pick Up

By Elisabeth Horan

I’ve been left out

They had a baby shower without me
I’m not pregnant right now but I can still be pretty fun sometimes

They’re constructing a pipeline,
Under rivers of bones and shale
Through the homes of the earthworms

Didn’t ask the worms if that was ok
Didn’t ask me either

They are dissecting my insurance – My taxes My womb, my WIC, my Medicaid, my Safety Net
I am a poor poet you see But I still need some food and my meds
You don’t want to see me without my meds, Senators
And support and maybe even a little respect

I paid taxes, I sure did –
For 20 years as a secretary
First in an otolaryngology clinic, then in an estate planning law firm
They could call me, I would talk

I would tell them:
He’s out at lunch right now, would you like his voice mail?
You can come in to sign your wills at 1:15 Yes Sir, they will be ready

Also: Have a heart
Also: Don’t touch my body

Invite me to be your friend, I promise I can be fun still
Even if I’m not pregnant and happy like you
Even if I’m not in power like you
I’m always here
On my couch
Ready to talk
Waiting for the phone to ring –
I’ll check the caller ID –
But if it’s you,
I promise I’ll pick up.


Elisabeth Horan is a poet mother student lover of kind people and animals, homesteading in Vermont with her tolerant partner and two young sons. She hopes the earth can withstand us and that humans may learn to be more kind to each other and to Mother Nature. She has recently been featured in Quail Bell Magazine and Dying Dahlia Review. She has work forthcoming at The Occulum, Alexander & Brook and at Switchgrass Review. Elisabeth is a 2018 MFA candidate at Lindenwood University and teaches at River Valley Community College in New Hampshire. Follow her @ehoranpoet.

Photo credit: Sarah Laval via a Creative Commons license.

By | 2017-10-24T15:27:54+00:00 October 26th, 2017|Categories: Issue 46: 26 Oct 2017|Tags: , |0 Comments

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