poetry critical

online poetry workshop



The Day the Operator Missed Her Call
Quichemarie

The operator must have wondered
 1
why the little girl hadn’t called that day.
 2
Ordinarily, by 8 O’clock, the child had dialed “0,”
 3
but this morning was different.
 4
Just this once, the mother had invited her along.
 5
The operator probably thought the gabby-girl
 6
was sick or even dead. But the child
 7
wasn’t sick, and she wasn’t even dead.
 8
She was more alive this day
 9
than she had ever been.
 10
Today the mother had noticed her.
 11
 
 
The girl watched as the woman tightened
 12
her naked lips around the tube of bright
 13
lipstick, flattening it on either side.
 14
She didn’t cry when the mother pulled
 15
her neglected hair into a ponytail.
 16
Her eyes might have watered,
 17
but she did not cry. She was then
 18
ushered into the front seat, where
 19
her sisters usually rode.  
 20
 
 
The mysterious destination soon
 21
became apparent as  the flashing DONUTS
 22
sign appeared in the car’s headlights.
 23
Pleasant aromas overwhelmed her as the little
 24
girl sat down directly across from the mother,  
 25
who ordered coffee (with two sugars)
 26
and  a large donut overflowing with red jelly.
 27
The child’s mouth watered as the glazed donut
 28
was placed on the table in front of her. It wasn’t
 29
her favorite, but the little girl didn’t complain.
 30
She was happy. The woman didn’t speak, but
 31
the child grinned at her anyway. She was content
 32
just watching the mother as she left outlines of
 33
her painted lips on cigarettes and coffee cups.
 34
 
 
This was a special day, a peculiar day,
 35
a day the girl would commemorate forever.
 36
She would wrap this memory in silk and
 37
file it away in an extraordinary place labeled,
 38
“The Day the Mother Acknowledged
 39
the Little Girl and Brushed Her Hair and
 40
Fed Her a Donut.”  Or perhaps merely,
 41
”The Day the Operator Missed Her Call.”
 42

6 May 05

Rated 5 (7.7) by 1 users.
Active (1): 8
Inactive (25): 1, 1, 2, 4, 5, 5, 5, 6, 7, 7, 8, 9, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

(define the words in this poem)
(17 more poems by this author)

(6 users consider this poem a favorite)



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Comments:

Ah. A happy mother's day poem at last!
 — unknown

!
 — unknown

This is certainly prose but not so much poetry.  Actually, short story would describe it better.  Not even sure how to comment.
 — Isabelle5

what is poetry?
 — unknown

What do I know?  I guess poetry is in the eye of the beholder but this really still sounds like a short story to me.
 — Isabelle5

LOL
 — unknown

I think a lot of poetry is "short story-ish" seesh look at the Highwayman. Anyway, I think this is very poignant, whether it's a story or a poem. -Suzanne
 — unknown

Oh I really like the way you write.  Bravo.
 — themolly

I like this, told a story, and I can define it as prose.
 — Alice

I like this, it pulled me in from the very beginning. Love the title, and the last part. Truly captivating.
 — Lilac

The last stanza gave me shivers. I care not whether this is prose or poetry, or a combination of both; the story is intriguing and the sentiment poetic enough for me. Well done.
 — wendz

this is nice!
 — sabz3003

Love it...not really sure why, but I think its cause it isn't depressing!
 — SaleenDriva

Poetic storytelling at its finest. And a bit sad, too.
 — patrice

Isabelle, there is such a thing known as narrative poetry. Need I remind you of the Oddessy by Ovid and the Aeneid by Vergil, just to name a few.
 — unknown

Hmmm. Good.
 — unknown

this is a beautifull poem, very much down to earth in a feather like kinda way :)

props to you, keep it up
 — Tortured_Min

nice.
 — beckeyleigh

I like it a lot, even if it is rather sad.
 — Cloudless

SGUD.
 — noodleman

wow.




-tears.-

:)
 — __suigeneris

too long, wheres lia and laurena
 — min

I liked it, poem or story or whichever. Tis sweet.
 — unknown

Thanks. :) ~Q~
 — unknown

This shit is wack.
 — ramher

quichepoopee
 — unknown

i don't get the operator stuff :(
 — unknown

i really like it. it reminds me of someone....
 — unknown

I thought it was ok. Not poetry, prose for sure. Overrated.
 — unknown

I really really like this. I don't understand why other people don't think it's a poem. I think it's a great poem.
 — Lia

Prose, poetry, whatever! I like it a lot! I tells a story, paints a picture. Sad and happy. A big day for a very neglected child. I hope that child wasn't once you!
 — wamblicante

wow, now this is absolutely awesome.  you have a great sense of writing.  beautifully written, and good job!  (;  this is very clear and understandable, and it comes together perfectly, with the operator missing the call from the girl at 8 o clock and all.  it makes so much sense and i love it to death.  this is sooooooo awesome, and it deserves to be top rated!  (;  keep on writing--i look forward to your next poem.  (;  
    ;   (10)
 — ducktape

(;
 — ducktape

senitmental trailer trash appealin to the dummies who overpopulate this site

to all of u i send a hallmark card
 — unknown

the day the operator missed her period
 — unknown

hi viscera
 — unknown

one a lonely day, a bald moose cried.
 — unknown

Its amazing, and touching, and I can relate. I love it. Its the best poem on this site so far. Wonderful job. I'm adding it to my favorites.
 — marchhare

Just wanna share what i thought about how this poem or story ended...

the girl shouldn't have been rejoicing just yet, just because momma brushed her hair and fed her donuts, noticed her and all... coz, actually it was going to be the worst day of her life...
Momma was gonna peddle her off, like she did her sisters. She's a prostitute.
 — majan

shit, i can't believe i've missed this for so long. This is beautiful .
 — Gabriella

It's an interesting snapshot. I'd say it's a bit prose-y and could use some serious tightening up but it is a poem. I like what's not said here as much as what's said.

You've got the content - my suggestions would be to lose the last 5 lines - I know you were going for an autobiographical feel, but it doesn't add anything to the work. You've got some repetition in the telling that doesn't really strengthen the feel, and a lot of descriptives which you could cut to help the poem flow and feel less prose-y.

Not bad.
 — ka

So. Cheesy.
 — unknown

i hate it when you really really like a poem and it's on the top rated list and you want to boost it higher, but you have already given it a 10. that doesn't happen to me too often, but it happened with this :)

words cannot describe the goodness of this poem.
 — Lia

POETRY CRITICAL denotes the collection of POETRY. not prose, not stories, not little sentences written together to create an alleged poem-feel.
For that matter, i could pretend this too
was a poem.
And in actual fact is but a load of strung-together sentences
In a child's story-telling fashion.
Perhaps you would contemplate not writing here.
 — unknown

the images are nice.
 — sugaraindrop

posting a criticism also implies a willingness to accept critiques of your own work.  impossible of course with the convenience of signing 'unknown'.
 — asklepios

I a book I have titled, "World's Greatest Poems" there are many poems which are 3 pages long and tell stories. I have read entire books which are called "Poetry," for example, Homer's Iliad and Odyssey. Why is a poem which tells a story not considered a poem? I think this is excellent.
 — Kewanee

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 — wanglili

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