I don’t know whether I’m grateful
That the person calling has let the phone ring five times
While I tried to wipe the meatloaf mixture off my hands
And get to the phone.
A harried, “Hello?”
Met by an authoritative and commanding “Mrs. Thompson?”
Sgt. Somebody from the United States Army,
Asking to speak to Mac.
“He’s not here, but I’ll tell him you called.”
Unacceptable. The US Army wants to speak with him
And they want to know when to call back.
The pre-heating timer is beeping; my meatloaf needs to go into the oven
Before the dog jumps all the way up to the counter and gets a mouthful.
But I don’t care who is correcting me.
“Mac plans to join the Marines,” I say dismissively
with a little bit of pride,
I don’t want him on the front lines
And I don’t want him in the Army.
“I’ve spoken to Mac already. Have him call me.”
I dragged the phone over to the counter where I shooed away the dog
Stuck my meatloaf in the oven
And banged the door shut.