Ma Come Get Me (the Phone Slams)

Bruce Dethlefsen

Frosh football players:  You will be kind to your mother when using this phone to ask for a ride home.  This is not a suggestion.

fed up with players’ rude phone calls
to their folks to pick them up after practice
I taped this mandatory script
by the phone in our coach’s office
on august fifteenth nineteen eighty-one

players please dial your number carefully
assume a pleasant demeanor
say hello mom dad or name of guardian
and pause for response
say this is your son or daughter your name here
say I’m done with football practice
ask would you please come pick me up at the high school
and pause for response
say thank you very much
say I love you mom dad or name of guardian
and/or say goodbye
please hang the phone up gently

they could grumble that the coach made them
but every player always chose I love you

Bruce Dethlefsen

Bruce Dethlefsen

Bruce Dethlefsen, Wisconsin Poet Laureate (2011-2012), volunteers in prison doing poetry writing workshops and lives in Westfield, Wisconsin.