A Phone to Speak Your Grief

On a hill overlooking the ocean in northeastern Japan is a phone booth known as the “Telephone of the Wind”. People come to “call” family members lost during the tsunami of the 2011 Japan Earthquake.

Go to the white booth
with the disconnected telephone
that can break the block of sadness
cemented in your heart.
The black rotary phone takes your voice
further than the world,
takes your voice past death.

Speak on the wind phone
in the white booth
to those you couldn’t save,
speak to your lost ones.
On the wind, rise up!
Who do you need to talk to?
Rise from the silencing grief
and call your lost ones.

From the well of grief, the rotary phone
calls forth, first, your own voice.
It rises from speechlessness
to connect with those you lost.
The disconnected line won’t
carry your voice
but the wind, the wind will.

Speak what needs to be said
to those you need to talk to.
You will get through.
Your words will get through
your strangled, tightened throat;
then, through the disembodied place
on the other end of the wind,
to the place where the lost
are listening hard, to heal you.

©Susa Silvermarie 2017



3 Replies to “A Phone to Speak Your Grief”

  1. Yes. When we first heard this story we considered doing something similar at Manzanita Village. Maybe we will. Thanks for the reminder xo

  2. The Phone of the Wind was news to me before this. Thank you Susa, for enlightening me and for the poem. How lazy I feel when I see your poetic efforts and how relevant they are. How quick we are to forget cataclysmic tragedies like the tsunami and earthquake. I know our California fires could benefit from such a phone booth to contain our grief.

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