Autumn Sky Poetry . . . Number 9 . . .


     by Daniel Sumrall

There are ways an empty place becomes known

such as the ringing and ringing and ringing

of a phone sick with calling abruptly cut.

At these times for no real reason I pick up

the receiver and hum into the near silence

or stand listless listening to the faint dial tone

after I’ve come home, after the soft click of

unlock, and the well worn give of hinge has let

my keys dissolve their utility for the day.

In the kitchen where the faucet drips like

a cymbal keeping a waltz time as hard water

strikes the metal basin I thought maybe

the people downstairs were calling because they

had been kept up all night or…perhaps not.

I peeled a papaya, threw the skin away, and

began to stuff the fleshy fruit down the drain

to mute the drip and shut up the neighbors,

to keep in this place a further quiet.

© 2008 Daniel Sumrall

Daniel Sumrall, 31, received his MFA from the University of Notre Dame in 2003 and currently teaches English at Manchester Community College in Connecticut.