On Call

By Alison Stone and Eric Greinke

The problem with old friends

was that they always resurfaced

on sunny mornings when his craving

for a human connection

temporarily blinded him

to their mercurial shadows.

He always dove back in,

opening too much, surprised

when they showed

the same old callous regard,

same shallow values, yet

mysteriously appealing smile.

How long could he overlook

their droning about ex-wives

and hot conquests, their need

for a magic mirror

to reflect their brilliance

and royal entitlement?

How had he ended up back

in a supporting role, murmuring

“Rhubarb, rhubarb” while

wolves disguised as sheep

eyed him as potential prey?

Where did he lose the old

grudge-holding, self protective

self that saw through

pretty wool and witty repartee?

Though tortured by doubt,

he snatched up the phone.

“Good to hear from you.” he said.



Alison Stone is the author of Dangerous Enough (Presa Press 2014), Borrowed Logic (Dancing Girl Press 2014), From the Fool to the World: Poems in the Voices of the Major Arcana of the Tarot (Parallel Press 2012) and They Sing at Midnight, which won the 2003 Many Mountains Moving Poetry Award and was published by Many Mountains Moving Press. Her poems have appeared in The Paris Review, Poetry, Ploughshares, Barrow Street, Poet Lore, and a variety of other journals and anthologies. She has been awarded Poetry’s Frederick Bock Prize and New York Quarterly’s Madeline Sadin award. She is also a painter and the creator of The Stone Tarot. A licensed psychotherapist, she has private practices in NYC and Nyack. She is currently editing an anthology of poems on the Persephone/Demeter myth.

Eric Greinke’s work has appeared in the Abraxas, California Quarterly, The Delaware Poetry Review, Gargoyle, Ginyu (Japan), The Green Door (Belgium),The Journal (UK), Main Street Rag, the New York Quarterly, the Paterson Literary Review, The Pedestal Magazine, Poem, Prosopisia (India), The South Carolina Review, The University of Tampa Review and many others. He is the Featured Poet in the current issue of the Aurorean.  He is a book reviewer for The Pedestal Magazine.  His book For The Living Dead – New & Selected Poems has achieved a large international audience.  He is one of twenty American poets included in the international anthology The Second Genesis: An Anthology of Contemporary World Poetry (India; 2014).

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