You Should’ve Called

When the twins had colic and cut their first teeth,
When measles were making the rounds,
When storms and tornadoes cut a swath through our town,
When laundry buried us beneath.

You should’ve called.

When one took her first steps right into my arms,
When they learned to spell and to add.
When one covered the bedroom walls with plaid,
And the other ate only Lucky Charms.

You should’ve called.

When we stayed up late for yet another project at school,
When they were banned from the daddy-daughter ball.
When one took to singing, the other to basketball,
And both went to detention for breaking rules.

You should’ve called.

Term papers, braces, learning to drive,
First dates, heartbreaks, and prom.
Completing college applications with aplomb.
The pride of seeing them both thrive.

Moving away, new studies, and the oddest of roommates,
Learning how to manage their time.
Then living off campus and tackling their own grime,
And choosing a career they didn’t hate.

You should’ve called.

Together we handled every crisis, every joy.
It wasn’t always pretty or easy.
So don’t fault me for admitting I’m feeling uneasy
And questioning your intent to destroy.

You see, you didn’t call.

You sit in judgment and call me hard,
Turn up your little snub nose.
You’ll never understand the path I chose,
Nor know the love in our back yard.

Because you didn’t call.

At first I tried to make excuses for you,
But reasons sounded flimsy at best.
And eventually I came to give it a rest
When I realized the twins knew the truth.

It bears repeating, I think.
You should’ve called.

33 thoughts on “You Should’ve Called

      • My wife and I went through some really scary times with her health so my writing had to take a back seat to that. She is doing better now. No problems on the reblog.

  1. Wow, Debbie, what a powerfully expressed piece! And as Monica shared, I could feel the hurt and pain. Isn’t it something how an experience from the past; especially when it involves family, will sometimes come up again and be felt? I’ve had this happen myself with certain family members and past experiences; very similar to this one. They should have called.

    Hope you had a peaceful weekend, my friend.

    • Bless you, Ron, for such a lovely comment! I’m sorry you’ve had to experience hurts, too, but I suppose they’re part of life. We try to rise above them and not hold on to grudges and anger, though. Hope this will be a lovely week for you {{{ YOU }}}

    • Hi Judith, and welcome! I’m glad this one resonated as true. I didn’t want to depress anybody — especially on a Monday! — but perhaps we all need to be reminded to call the ones we love (or used to love!).

    • Gosh, FF, can you see me blushing?! Thanks for your lovely words — I’m glad the message came across loud and clear, and I hope it wasn’t too depressing for a Monday, ha!

  2. I’m not an expert in poetry at all, but I noticed the pattern of rhyming and am curious what this style is called.

    You captured some very painful, and sadly common emotions very well!

  3. This poem applies to relationships of all sorts – ex-spouses, friends, family members. So often we get busy and don’t make time to call and then find out we missed so much. I’ve been so wrapped up in my own “stuff” that I have neglected some relationships in my life recently…. I really need to call 🙂

    • Absolutely true, Janna! Why is it we think to call on special occasions like birthdays or Mother’s Day, but we neglect calling otherwise?? I’m glad this one rang true for you — I like how you can see other applications where it fits, too. I imagine the people who know you best know you’ve been busy with “stuff” and give you a pass!

  4. What a powerful post that was surely painful to live. Thanks for sharing so openly. Makes me want to pick up the phone right now and call my family and remind them that yes, I do care.

  5. I didn’t really want to click ‘like’ as I can tell there’s a lot of pain behind the words. But I liked it from an intellectual point of view. I hope things are OK.

    • Things are fine for me, Dawn, and thanks for your concern. All of this didn’t happen to me — thank Heaven! — but it’s kind of a compilation of incidents I’ve heard about from others. It would take a VERY brave person to survive all this, I think!

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