I heard the phone ring
I couldn’t make it to the phone in time so the machine got it
Your play back voice surprised me as you hadn’t called on this day in years
You had been cranky with me for some reason which surfaced only once a year
I didn’t understand this anger then and now I never will
However your out of character action surprised me when you left a message at the tone
I know you didn’t like talking to machines when you finally used your phone
And this day, as promised, I called you straight away to make sure you were okay.
Our visit to you that afternoon is now just a memory but the message on the machine remains.
It’s still surprising and more than a little hard to play
It even brings a tear
But it’s the last time you, my mother, wished a happy birthday to me.