Skip to page content
Return to Top

Waiting For The Phone To Ring

Devin Maness


I hate the phone; it never rings.
No one ever calls me.
In frustration, I pick up the phone as if I’m going to use it.
I can’t think of anyone to call.
I just listen to the dial tone, pretending I know the number of a friend to call.
I know they want to hear that I’m doing fine.
That’s a lie,
I’m sitting here with no number to dial, no one to call.
Sometimes I dial a random number, praying someone will answer.
Just so I can say, “Sorry, I have the wrong number.”
I feel alive when I hear them say, “It’s OK.”
I pray for a voice from someone, anyone!
Anyone will do.
I want to know I’m not alone.
But I’m still here alone.
Waiting for the phone to ring.

I awake from dreaming, thinking I hear the phone ringing.
It happens night after night.
It sounds so real,
I can feel the ringing vibrate my inner ear.
I jump up from my bed, running to answer the phone.
It’s been ringing so long,
One more ring and I know they’ll hang up.
I answer the phone with a desperate, “Hello?”
But there is no one there, just a dial tone.

I’m still here alone.
Waiting for the phone to ring.
The phone rings on an early morning in December.
I hesitate to answer it, is it really ringing?
Or am I punishing myself again?
I answer the phone without saying a word.
I just listen.
There is no dial tone, but I can hear someone breathing on the other side.
She utters three powerful words,
“Are you there?”
“Yes!” I yell with newfound hope. “I’m here!”
With a lonely voice she says, “Oh…Sorry, I have the wrong number.”
With a grin on my face I reply, “It’s OK… It’s OK.”
I’m not alone.
Waiting for the phone to ring.