Flipping Flip Phone (prompt 17)

His hands shake so badly he can’t tap a smart phone.

That didn’t matter until last year.

Every college kid I’ve taught in the last ten years

writes about their first phone, but this one will be his last.

He’s 86 with familial tremens, the least of his old age ills,

and first we had to get a phone with big keyboard letters.

And that served him many years, just pressing a big

letter “A” programmed to speed dial his sister, son, me

his bridge buddies, his poker buddies, and his old buddies.

He’s older now, though; they don’t make them any more.

In his creeping demented brain, he asks a hundred times

a week, “Why can’t we just get the same phone we had?”

“They don’t make ’em any more, Dad.” And he sighs.

The smart phone rings and he taps, taps, taps, nothing,

the caller gives up, and I have to call them back for him.

The missed phone calls, voice mails, all he can retrieve,

He misses his wife, his card games, and his flip phone.

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