During your first night as a suicide hot-line counselor, you answer the phone to…




During your first night as a suicide hot-line counselor, you answer the phone to hear a woman screaming and crying. “My husband says he will be back in thirty minutes. He says, “when I come back, I’m gonna beat you black and blue.” The suicide counsellor allows her to talk without interrupting. Finally, she says, “I’m going to jump out the window. I’d rather die than have him beat me again.”

“Listen, take a deep breath with me. Now I want you to call the police. Have them meet you somewhere away from the house not. Can you do that for me?”

“I think so. I don’t really want to commit suicide. I’m carrying my first baby.”

“Okay, time is passing. Don’t try to take anything with you. Hang up. Then, call the police. Then, leave as quickly as possible, and don’t hurt yourself.”

The counsellor heard a deep breath. Then, the phone clicked. She hoped the woman would make it out of there and not pass her husband on the way in. She said to a fellow worker. “I hate men who beat women. I really hope they burn in….Well, let me hush up before I say something I shouldn’t. Don’t want to get fired on my first night. I didn’t think about him returning early or meeting her while she was leaving. I feel my advice could have been so much better. I was so nervous I couldn’t think.”

Another worker, a male, got up and went to the water fountain. “Don’t worry. All of us have made our mistakes. You’ll do better next time. This time wasn’t too bad. Just hope and pray she makes it to safety. That’s all you can do.” The phone began to ring again.



UntitledBehind the door

up the stairs

down the hall

there is no silence.


OrdinaryI am ordinary.

I drink milk for breakfast.

I play Bingo on Monday evening.

On Wednesday night, I go to Prayer meeting.

Are you ordinary too?

Yes, I buy my potatoes from the corner grocer.

I knead and bake my bread.

I weed my marigolds in the morning.

How about you?

Are you ordinary too?

No, I fly to Paris once a month.

I can dance the Tango.

My bed sheets are satin and silk.

I never heard the word ordinary.

Will you teach me what it means?

I can not teach you.

It’s the real you lying inside

like an oyster in its shell.