Phoning Home – 1970’s

after we immigrated,
Holland and its tangle
of noisy, loving relatives
ceased to exist.

in my preschool mind
the plane had rocketed
us through space and home
had spun away endlessly
lost somewhere between
Greenland and the stars.

except for Opa’s warm ghost
who recited poetry to me
in each new bedroom
long after my parents slept,
my grandparents’ voices
vanished, their faces blurred.

only at Christmas
when my mother’s face
glowed in the happy light
of the red candles on the tree
and my father
pulled the big
black rotary phone
off its quiet shelf
for us to kneel around
as if at altar,

his heavy watch,
placed just so, beside
the phone, its silver
scuffed from carpentry,
its phosphorescent second hand
sweeping around the dial
tick, ticking,
eating up the minutes,
those three precise,
precious minutes,
our Christmas indulgence,

only then
did my grandmothers live,
voices trilling delight
their world tethered
briefly to ours,
by the taut
telephone cord.

~ Dymphny Dronyk

Dymphny Dronyk is a writer, artist, mediator and mother. She is passionate about the magic of story and has woven words for money (journalism, corporate writing) and for love (poetry, fiction, drama, mystery novels) for over 25 years. Her first volume of poetry Contrary Infatuations, (Frontenac House, Quartet 2007) was short listed for two prestigious awards in 2008. She is also the author of the memoir Bibi – A Life in Clay (Prairie Art Gallery, 2009). She is the co-founder/publisher of House of Blue Skies, Alberta’s newest micropublisher, and co-editor of the best-selling anthology Writing the Land: Alberta through its Poets, with Angela Kublik. The anthology is currently in its third printing.

“I am a trans-Atlantic vagabond. Home is where my loved ones share a meal. Home is where I keep my books.”

Read more of Dymphny Dronyk’s poetry:
Blue Sky Seeks No Definition
The Mothers
Christmas Eve
A World Without Bees
Colony Collapse Disorder
A Sunday Poem
Our Empty, Empty Bed
Ode to Al Purdy – A Litter of Poets

Editor’s note: This poem is from Home and Away – a sequel to the bestselling Writing the Land (2007). Look for one poet to be featured each day as Alberta poets ponder the question “what is home?” and explore our complex relationship with working on, living with, exploiting and protecting our land and our home. For more information about the project, click here.

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