Yesterday my mother smiled and said,
You never did forgive me did you, for changing the telephone?
And she laid a small challenge on the table.
But you won’t remember what the old one was like.
And I said,
It was heavy and black. It had a small drawer underneath
that slid out – to keep numbers in.
The wire felt like oiled rope, twisted not coiled.

And she said,
But it was the surprise really wasn’t it,
coming home from school and finding a new phone.
And I never asked you.

That was my sister coming home, my mother has forgotten.
I was there when the man came,
coming into the house from outside with his new phone. 
I remember how they were together.
She was flustered and shy
never having imagined a choice of colour.
She laughed,
I don’t know what they’ll say when they all come home.
And he smiled and stayed on to drink tea
thinking he was doing us a favour taking the old one away.

When he was gone she avoided the hall
and moved around the kitchen so light,
when she took up the empty cups,
she almost danced with them.  

Rosie Garner

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