Punching familiar numbers,
I took a slow walk around autumn.
Marmalade Aloe arborescens
stood proudly against a solid caerulean sky.
Bees busily buzzed about the cylindrical blossoms
noisily gaining entrance into the narrow chambers.
Phone to my ear
I waited through an unusual repetition of rings.

How startled I was to hear your voice
when it suddenly bellowed your giveaway greeting
across the waves!

(I must have dialed the wrong number! I thought.)

Quickly deciding to engage in chatter
rather than admit I made a mistake,
I returned your jovial greeting.

(Just called to see how you are doing! I said.)

You were touched and surprised
(as was I)
and proceeded to regale me with tall tales,
colourfully embroidering an intricate pattern
for the better part of an hour.

Then,
like an unannounced blackout,
you stopped.

(Hello? Is everything okay? I asked.)

I could hear you softly weeping on the other end.

That slow afternoon,
— my intentions bent toward a casual date —
a misdialed number
transformed acquaintances into friends.

I remember you
with bittersweet joy
each year
when the aloes bloom.

 

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Guest host CC, over at dVerse, is prompting us to to write a poem inspired by a mistake.
Go check it out and join us!

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