Dana Gioia calls the Poetry Crisis Line

Happy Thanksgiving!

From “Poem 048: Thanks for Remembering Us” by Dana Gioia

KIM (counselor): Poetry Crisis Line, what is your emergency?
DANA GIOIA (caller): The flowers sent here by mistake, Signed with a name that no one knew, Are turning bad. What shall we do?
KIM: Have you tried plant food?
GIOIA: Our neighbor says they’re not for her
KIM: Not for her—for the flowers. What about cutting the stems?
GIOIA: And no one has a birthday near.
KIM: You don’t need an occasion to get a trim.
GIOIA: We should thank someone for the blunder.
KIM: If you want to.
GIOIA: Is one of us having an affair?
KIM: I couldn’t answer that if I knew.
GIOIA: At first we laugh—and then we wonder.
KIM: Confidentiality, you understand.