Our first conversation, Lynn

It’s Friday, July 18th. We start to say grace when my phone rings. Without looking, I know it’s you. My dish of penne remains in the microwave as I see your name on the incoming call.

You ask about the weather, my writing, and work. I answer what I can. And savor the soft, resigned tone that betrays a hint of sadness, along with that intellectual articulation. You laugh as I expound on the phrase “empty suits.”

I learn that I have two uncles and two cousins living in Auburn, NY. One is a poet seeking first publication. You tell me you’re alone. You pursued theater, making it to off-off-Broadway, where you performed in at least one shuttered play a year. When you realized you’d peaked, you left theater to pursue baking. You lived in New York City (10 years), Burlington, Vermont (6 years), Sarasota and other locales in Florida (14 years) and Asheville, North Carolina (7 years).

Somehow, the years of your career or residencies don’t add up.

But I discover where my love of poetry, creative writing, animals and movies comes from, don’t I? You took up drawing and painting in your fifties. A Black Bear yearling enthralled you.

We agree to speak again; the ball is in my court. I savor the unexpected sense of wholeness after I hang up.

Before an inexplicable sorrow arises to replace it.

cool evening
you set your phone down
alone

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Frank J. Tassone

Frank J. Tassone lives in New York City's "back yard" with his wife and son. He fell in love with writing after he wrote his first short story at age 12 and his first poem in high school. He began writing haiku and haibun seriously in the 2000s. His haikai poetry has appeared in Failed Haiku, Cattails, Haibun Today, Contemporary Haibun Online, Contemporary Haibun, The Haiku Foundation and Haiku Society of America member anthologies. He is a contributing poet for the online literary journal Image Curve, and a performance poet with Rockland Poets. When he's not writing, Frank works as a special education high school teacher in the Bronx. When he's not working or writing, he enjoys time with his family, meditation, hiking, practicing tai chi and geeking out to Star Wars, Marvel Cinema and any other Sci-Fi/Fantasy film and TV worth seeing.

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