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Phone Calls This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By Rachel H, Wyckoff, NJ

Turnpikes of red map themselves on my palms,
The result of blue plastic phone card edges and
nervous habits.
The plywood bench is too small, the trembling silence
not small enough.
I'm just a lowly lower camper making her first phone call
home from camp, so unsure which numbers to hit,
which tones to listen for.
There's a ring on the line, tinny as aluminum,
and the phone card highways buried in my too-short lifeline, my too-long heart line,
crackle in pain.
Another faint ring sounds and my
size 2 Skechers shake the plywood planks they rest on.
Her voice silences the tremors.
I can hear it travel across polished cherry wood and echo off red toile wallpaper.
My chest wrenches, and my neck is soaked with tears.

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