The farmer hefts the black telephone
to his ear and listens for a dial tone
before slowly dragging each number
around, mouthing it quietly to himself.
Who will answer, he’s not entirely
sure, but he wants to tell them, “I used to be
a good man. Now I’m only sound.”
His wife peels apples into a coffee can,
humming along with the radio
even though she’s been deaf for years.