Wendy French


My mother calls at least five times a day.
The times are noted daily in her book:

9 am phone Wendy, 12 pm phone Wendy,
3, 6 and 8 the same.

When I’m not in she leaves a message,
I can’t find your Dad

And ends, Oh, Mum here.
As if I wouldn’t recognise this frail accent

coming down the line or through the air.
When my sister was there at an appointed time

she tried to phone me using the remote control.
‘I, too, am confused by technology, Mum.

Please don’t worry.’ Once she phoned me
at 3 pm and I was sitting there.

To the answerphone she said, I can’t find Dad.
To me she said, She’s not in.

‘Perhaps she’s gone shopping,’ I replied,
Oh no! She’ll be out looking for her Dad.

And I am, Mum, I’m out now searching
everywhere for both of you. Five times a day.

WendyFrench has won many prizes including the Torbay Open and the inaugural Hippocrates Prize. She is a regular contributor to Acumen.