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Sunday, December 02, 2018


by George Held

Her sharp metallic voice says,
“Your record of on-time payments
Qualifies you for zero interest
On your new credit card. Please
Press 1 for our authentication department.”

God knows what questions will be
Asked, what fees charged if I press 1
But her sharp metallic voice
Warns me to beware. It’s like
The brisk, urgent frat-boy voice

That offers me forgiveness
Of my car loan or the sanctimonious
Voice of the pitch-man soliciting
My donation to some starving
Reservation in remote Montana.

The voices might as well welcome
Me to the age of vulnerability,
Of forgetfulness, of frailty,
Of being a mark for any con
Preying on the inept and the lonely,

On those who might be careless
Or dying to squander their shekels in reply
To a disembodied voice from the blue
And its promise of only connecting
For one last desperate minute.

A longtime contributor to the TheNewVerse.News, George Held writes from New York. His forthcoming book is Second Sight (Poets Wear Prada, 2019).