Cold Calls

The New Republic

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AUGUST 30, 2004

Cold Calls

If you had watched my father,

who had been peddling boxes for 50 years,

working the phones again at a common desk,

if you had listened to him sweet-talking

the newly minted Assistant Buyer at Seagramsand swearing a little under his breath,

if you had sweated with him on the docks

of a medical supply company

and heard him boasting, as I did,

that he had to kiss some strange asses,

if you had seen him dying out there,

then you would understand why I stood

at his grave on those wintry afternoons

and stared at the bare muddy trees

and raved in silence to no one,

to his name carved into a granite slab...

Cold calls, dead accounts.

By Edward Hirsch

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