My sister called to tell me that Martha
had jumped from a hotel balcony in
Kansas City. She left no note and called
no one, leaving the earth to wonder why.
At least three times a week for 30 years
they had talked while my sister raised children,
nursed the sick, and flunked Marriage 101.
Martha in her trousers, soft hair, and blue eyes
had private schooled, earned summa cum laude,
and took Wall Street by storm and partners
like the pioneer she was. Wall Street took her
ideas and gave no credit. The partners just left.
I remembered little of the young Martha
across the street and she remembered much,
reminding me of the time she dropped her
ice cream cone on the seat of my car
and how I didn't get mad but just drove
back to Baskin Robbins to get another.
That was the beginning that ended in
Kansas City leaving my sister to wonder why
and me to hold a phone listening to sobs
that went on and on until a click to silence.
- Robert Halleck 2015
Robert Halleck is a hospice volunteer and retired banker who lives in Del Mar, CA. Over 55 years he has written three books of poetry and collected a large file of rejection notices and acceptances from many poetry publications.