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                                                 Late Night Phone Calls

The baby came crawling to me tonight

Saying "Da, Da"

With her silly little grin

I wanted to stop and call

The way I've always done for

Another of those late night phone calls

From halfway across the country

Or wherever I might be

To share the moment

As I have so many others

Through the years

Through the times

Good and bad

And what better day than today

For it is the Ides of March

And your birthday

You'd like to hear

How she stood at my knee

Bravely holding on with one hand

And grinned with pride

On shaky legs

You'd like to hear, too

Of her sisters

Who have grown

And changed so much

Since you last saw them

The oldest has shot up so tall

Big sister in every sense of the word

But still the little devil

Whose words never cease and

Whose laughter echoes

From down the hall

And, of course, there's your namesake

With bright blue eyes

So much like your own

There's so much to tell

And we've always enjoyed

Another of those late night phone calls

From halfway across the country

Or wherever I might be

But never so far as we are now

How I'd love once more

To share all the news

And the joy

But tonight

As I held your namesake

Until she went to sleep

I cried

For the first time

Since we took you home to rest

Leaving this void

And the sad knowledge

That my children will never know

The joys you had to share

And how they'll never know

Of what they've missed in

Another of those late night phone calls

From halfway across the country

Or wherever they might be.

            mFm

        15MAR91

        09:40 P.M.